Cultural heritage: a new technology centre of excellence in Venice
A new advanced centre devoted to the development of technologies and materials for the study and conservation of cultural heritage has been inaugurated in Venice. The new laboratory, resulting from the collaboration between the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, will be devoted to the study, analysis, conservation and preservation of architectural, artistic and archaeological heritage preserved in Italy and around the world.
The CCHT@Ca’Foscari - Centre for Cultural Heritage Technology will start its research activities in January 2019 and will use the technologies acquired by IIT in the fields of materials sciences, computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning with the aim of enhancing artistic, archaeological and architectural resources.
“Multidisciplinarity will be a key element of the new centre of the IIT network”, said Arianna Traviglia, coordinator of CCHT@Ca’Foscari. “The people who will work here in Venice will combine their different backgrounds to achieve solid results that meet the real needs of our cultural heritage. We will see, for example, automated systems for the study and analysis of artefacts that use robotic devices able to handle objects to be digitized or treated. An unprecedented encounter between frontier technologies and cultural heritage”, concluded Traviglia.
Special coatings will be created in the laboratory to protect masonry structures, frescoes, paintings and sculptures from humidity, microorganisms and weathering agents. In addition, through the use of computer vision and machine learning techniques, cultural heritage can be digitized to facilitate any restoration or reproduction works following natural or human-generated damage. Finally, new technologies and tools will be tested in the new centre to be used in the conservation of artworks, such as sensors and tools that can also be integrated into widely used devices, including smartphones and tablets.