Special Issue "YOCOCU2020 Hands on Heritage: Experiencing, Conservation, Mastering Management"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Macchia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
YOCOCU, Via Tasso 108, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: conservation of cultural heritage; deterioration phenomena and new methods for the conservation of inorganic materials; new nano systems for the cultural heritage conservation.
Dr. Fernanda Prestileo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC), Area della Ricerca di Tor Vergata, via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: preventive conservation; diagnostics; sustainable restoration; environmental monitoring
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Heritage encourages the submission of contributions presented at the 7th YOCOCU (Youth in Conservation and Cultural Heritage) Conference in Tbilisi, on 19th–23rd May 2020: "Hands on Heritage: Experiencing, Conservation, Mastering Management". This edition is devoted to experiences in learning and working on real-life scenarios in the realm of the conservation and management of cultural heritage. YOCOCU meetings are aimed at transmitting and disseminating knowledge and experiences in this broad and complex realm. In Tbilisi Georgian, Caucasian and International professionals, researchers and students will be able to realize and to attend sessions set as "short-workshops", where all attendees will update their knowledge in the conservation of cultural heritage or the management of site museums, world heritage sites, archaeological research in monumental heritage.

Therefore, research articles addressing the following (not exhaustive) list of topics are welcomed:

  • Archaeological heritage between conservation and management
  • New strategies in conservation and valorization of archaeological sites and buildings
  • Archaeological research and cultural landscape
  • Architectural restoration and conservation: approaches and case studies
  • Public archaeology
  • Remote sensing for archaeology and cultural heritage management
  • Natural risk assessment for the protection of cultural heritage and landscape
  • Remote and in-situ sensing technologies for the conservation and interpretation of monuments
Dr. Andrea Macchia
Dr. Nicola Masini
Dr. Fernanda Prestileo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Diagnostics and Monitoring to Preserve a Hypogeum Site: The Case of the Mithraeum of Marino Laziale (Rome)
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 4264-4285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4040235 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Conservation of hypogea and their accessibility by the visitors is a hard question, due to the interaction of different factors such as the intrinsic characteristics of the hypogeal environments and the presence of public. A particular case is represented by the Mithraeum of [...] Read more.
Conservation of hypogea and their accessibility by the visitors is a hard question, due to the interaction of different factors such as the intrinsic characteristics of the hypogeal environments and the presence of public. A particular case is represented by the Mithraeum of Marino Laziale, located a few kilometers away from Rome and accidentally discovered in the 1960s. The uniqueness of the discovery was the presence of a well-preserved painting of the Mithraic scene (II century A.D.) probably due to the oblivion of the place of worship over the centuries as well as the isolation from the outdoor environment. Unfortunately, despite a recent complete restoration and recovery of the archaeological area, which ended in 2015, the area was never open to the visitors and only two years after completing the works it was no longer safe to use. Hence, the need for a new planning of interventions starting from the deep knowledge of this cultural heritage and from the analysis of past incorrect actions to arrive at the opening—without any risk for the archaeological findings and visitors—and management of this site, never exposed to the public. Therefore, since 2018 a diagnostic campaign and microclimate monitoring have been started. The data collected during the two years of investigations have been fundamental to assess the conservation state of the hypogeal environment and the potential risks for the preservation of the three paintings (the Mithraic scene and two dadophores). Long-term monitoring of indoor environmental conditions assumes the role of an essential tool for the planning of preventive conservation strategies but also for the control of the site after its opening to the visitors. Furthermore, the characterization of the microclimate is non-invasive, sufficiently economical and accurate. In this paper, the characterization of surfaces in the Mithraic gallery through optical microscopy, UV fluorescence/imaging techniques, FT-IR spectroscopy, XRD and the microclimatic parameters variation in the presence or absence of visitors are used to define the strategies for the opening and fruition of the Mithraeum. The strategies for the sustainable fruition of this unique archaeological site have been defined through a conservation protocol approved by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and necessary for the site managers and curators of the Municipality of Marino Laziale to finally support its opening. Full article
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Article
Mural Art Conservation Data Recording (SCIMA): The Graart Project
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 4222-4232; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4040232 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Urban art in Italy is experiencing a remarkable evolution that has quickly modified urban spaces, especially in suburban areas. More and more often, we are witnessing the birth of works of art that have been commissioned by festivals, or institutional projects next to [...] Read more.
Urban art in Italy is experiencing a remarkable evolution that has quickly modified urban spaces, especially in suburban areas. More and more often, we are witnessing the birth of works of art that have been commissioned by festivals, or institutional projects next to spontaneous street artworks. These large projects, often defined as “urban renewal”, when carried out through a well-thought-out design, can become real open-air museums. The proliferation of these creative and legal projects has raised the question of whether street art should be preserved over time. The conservation, or even restoration, of urban art has recently become a controversial topic in scientific debate. In Italy, different associations of researchers are developing new methodologies for preserving street artworks; everyone agrees on the importance of the implementation of good conservation practices. The documentation of the existing condition of a work of art is the first step to start taking care of it. In this article we introduce SCIMA (Scheda Conservativa Informatizzata Mural Art), a digitizing conservation data report that is specific for mural art. The aim of SCIMA was to define the existing condition of the work of art, starting with the socio-cultural and artistic importance, to describe its environment, to define the materials used and its deterioration problems, to suggest conservative interventions. It was born as an analogical tool (sheet) but we are working on digitizing it (database) in order to maintain access to the data recorded for the future. Full article
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Article
Underground Built Heritage (UBH) as Valuable Resource in China, Japan and Italy
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 3208-3237; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4040180 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 498
Abstract
Recent research about the theoretical approach to elements of cultural heritage that can be included in the newly born class Underground Built Heritage (UBH), has provided several instruments for the functional classification and the static and dynamic analysis of all artefacts coherent with [...] Read more.
Recent research about the theoretical approach to elements of cultural heritage that can be included in the newly born class Underground Built Heritage (UBH), has provided several instruments for the functional classification and the static and dynamic analysis of all artefacts coherent with the given definition, while introducing several criteria for their reuse and the evaluation of connected enhancement processes as well. These guidelines can be adopted to analyze single artefacts, groups of homogenous or heterogeneous elements, and also selected territorial assets or national systems, even at a comparative level. With reference to this potential, research results from the application of this new methodological approach to the outputs of three ongoing projects by the National Research Council of Italy, all focusing on UBH, in three countries: China, Japan and Italy, are presented. With reference to the above-mentioned geographical contests, the research introduces a comparative study focusing on selected examples of artefacts that have been historically built underground to manage three functions: living space, religion and economy. This study, carried out based on data collected during onsite visits by the authors, consists in three steps: selection and analysis of case studies, definition of level of reuses on the basis of a given scale, and analysis of the different tools adopted for their conservation and enhancement. In the conclusions, possible future implementations of reuses of the analyzed elements are pointed out. Full article
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Article
Contemporary Murals in the Street and Urban Art Field: Critical Reflections between Preventive Conservation and Restoration of Public Art
Heritage 2021, 4(3), 2515-2525; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4030142 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
This paper focuses on the presentation of some of the main critical reflections concerning the current debate about conservation and restoration of contemporary murals in the Street and Urban Art field. More and more, the operations thought of for this kind of wall [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the presentation of some of the main critical reflections concerning the current debate about conservation and restoration of contemporary murals in the Street and Urban Art field. More and more, the operations thought of for this kind of wall paintings are connected to the concept of preventive conservation or some actions with the aim of reducing the future deterioration linked to the outdoor context. The idea of protecting urban and street murals arises from two principal issues: on one hand, the (not yet) official, but social, recognition of them as works of art and beloved icons in the communities—or better “testimonies which spread the values of civilization” (definition of Cultural Heritage) from the last decades of the XX century to nowadays—and, on the other hand, the necessity of finding a way to preserve their artistic messages in the ephemeral urban context. In fact, developing a correct plan for the conservation and restoration of these works of art located in the outdoor context needs to consider—more than ever—the strict relationship between their materials, their environment, and even their viewer. This fragile axiom is strictly linked to the law of the street, where all the decay processes are, often, unpredictable. At the moment, the ICR’s (The Istituto Centrale per il Restauro) research in this field is focused on a work in progress project to develop some trials and tests with innovative materials for their preservation and a common glossary to outline particular forms of damaging in murals often based on “plastic on a wall”. The final aim could be to define institutional guidelines for the preservation of urban and street contemporary mural paintings in a perspective of a “share for care” conservative program. Full article
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Article
Investigation of Building Materials Belonging to the Ruins of the Tsogt Palace in Mongolia
Heritage 2021, 4(3), 2494-2514; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4030141 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
This work focuses on the characterisation of the heritage building materials (plasters, mortars, bricks and glazed tiles) of the Tsogt Palace’s ruins located in the Bulgan Province of Mongolia. In addition, contribution is also given to a preliminary evaluation of their state of [...] Read more.
This work focuses on the characterisation of the heritage building materials (plasters, mortars, bricks and glazed tiles) of the Tsogt Palace’s ruins located in the Bulgan Province of Mongolia. In addition, contribution is also given to a preliminary evaluation of their state of conservation in consideration of the climate conditions to which the site is exposed. To accomplish the objectives, information on the climate and historical context have been acquired. A set of analytical methodologies has been applied on the seventeen samples collected: Polarized Light (PLM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRPD), Raman Spectroscopy and Ion Chromatography (IC). The data obtained allowed us to achieve a mineralogical and petrographic characterisation of the samples, underlining the nature of the binder in mortars and plasters, the type of clay used as raw material for bricks and tile, their hypothetical firing temperature and the aggregate composition. Moreover, it was also possible to identify the colouring coating typology in tiles and their process of production. Regarding the state of conservation, the principal deterioration phenomena affecting the site due to environmental impact can be also hypothesised, even though major studies are necessary for an exhaustive assessment. Full article
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Article
“Underground Built Heritage”: A Theoretical Approach for the Definition of an International Class
Heritage 2021, 4(3), 1092-1118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4030061 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
Although nowadays sustainable reuse of underground cultural heritage has become a global trend, as yet Underground Built Heritage (UBH) is not regarded as a distinctive class eligible for protection. After a critical overview of previous attempts at defining underground heritage by associations such [...] Read more.
Although nowadays sustainable reuse of underground cultural heritage has become a global trend, as yet Underground Built Heritage (UBH) is not regarded as a distinctive class eligible for protection. After a critical overview of previous attempts at defining underground heritage by associations such as UIS, SSI and UNESCO, this article updates the definition of the new-born class of UBH on the basis of three main criteria: position (by introducing the concept of Geographical Zero Level), manmade character, and cultural relevance, both material and immaterial. Building on the outputs of several projects devoted to this topic and the results of academic expertise in this field, the author proposes a new dedicated methodological approach consisting of a chart for the classification of artefacts as historical UBH and a strategy for their reuse based on a four-level scale: Re-inventing, Re-introducing, Re-interpreting and Re-building. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Adobe Blocks: Point-Load Assessment as a Complementary Study of Damaged Buildings and Samples
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 864-888; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4020047 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 916
Abstract
Adobe masonry is one of the oldest construction systems still in use today, Mexico has an enormous cultural heritage with traditional adobe houses being very representative of the rural communities and their culture. The 2017 Puebla Earthquake on September 19th struck the country [...] Read more.
Adobe masonry is one of the oldest construction systems still in use today, Mexico has an enormous cultural heritage with traditional adobe houses being very representative of the rural communities and their culture. The 2017 Puebla Earthquake on September 19th struck the country causing the loss, destruction, and damage of historic buildings in several Mexican states, with the traditional earthen dwellings being the most vulnerable structures to these events. The fast abandonment of the local materials and techniques entails further research regarding the characterization of these construction systems, therefore, reconstruction efforts first require the recovery of the construction technique. After the seismic events, adobe samples of the remaining adobe structures of Jojutla de Juarez were collected. This population was one of the most affected in all the country, and, because of the major losses suffered, the study was conducted to determine the material properties of the dwellings’ adobe shards and natural quarry clays of the region. The characterization included destructive and non-destructive tests, mineralogical and granulometry analyses, and composition of the adobe samples of the buildings, as well as the aggregates. As a novelty, the compressive strength of the pieces was tested by two methods: the traditional compression strength test and the point-load test, in order to obtain the indicative values and the correlation equations between both tests. From the formal analysis and the laboratory, it was observed that the adobes from Jojutla presented different compositions which combined with the building malpractices and alterations to the traditional systems caused unpredictable behavior during the earthquake. The conduction of point-load tests in situ, as a part of a complete characterization methodology, could be an alternative to study the mechanical properties of patrimonial or damaged building samples before its disappearance. Full article
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Article
Temporal Lensing: An Interactive and Scalable Technique for Web3D/WebXR Applications in Cultural Heritage
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 710-724; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4020040 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Today, Web3D technologies and the rise of new standards, combined with faster browsers and better hardware integration, allow the creation of engaging and interactive web applications that target the field of cultural heritage. Functional, accessible, and expressive approaches to discovering the past starting [...] Read more.
Today, Web3D technologies and the rise of new standards, combined with faster browsers and better hardware integration, allow the creation of engaging and interactive web applications that target the field of cultural heritage. Functional, accessible, and expressive approaches to discovering the past starting from the present (or vice-versa) are generally a strong requirement. Cultural heritage artifacts, decorated walls, etc. can be considered as palimpsests with a stratification of different actions over time (modifications, restorations, or even reconstruction of the original artifact). The details of such an articulated cultural record can be difficult to distinguish and communicate visually, while entire archaeological sites often exhibit profound changes in terms of shape and function due to human activities over time. The web offers an incredible opportunity to present and communicate enriched 3D content using common web browsers, although it raises additional challenges. We present an interactive 4D technique called “Temporal Lensing”, which is suitable for online multi-temporal virtual environments and offers an expressive, accessible, and effective way to locally peek into the past (or into the future) by targeting interactive Web3D applications, including those leveraging recent standards, such as WebXR (immersive VR on the web). This technique extends previous approaches and presents different contributions, including (1) a volumetric, temporal, and interactive lens approach; (2) complete decoupling of the involved 3D representations from the runtime perspective; (3) a wide range applications in terms of size (from small artifacts to entire archaeological sites); (4) cross-device scalability of the interaction model (mobile devices, multi-touch screens, kiosks, and immersive VR); and (5) simplicity of use. We implemented and developed the described technique on top of an open-source framework for interactive 3D presentation of CH content on the web. We show and discuss applications and results related to three case studies, as well as integrations of the temporal lensing with different input interfaces for dynamically interacting with its parameters. We also assessed the technique within a public event where a remote web application was deployed on tablets and smartphones, without any installation required by visitors. We discuss the implications of temporal lensing, its scalability from small to large virtual contexts, and its versatility for a wide range of interactive 3D applications. Full article
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Article
Accessibility, Natural User Interfaces and Interactions in Museums: The IntARSI Project
Heritage 2021, 4(2), 567-584; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4020034 - 04 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
In a museum context, people have specific needs in terms of physical, cognitive, and social accessibility that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we need to find a way to make art and culture accessible to them through the aid of Universal Design principles, advanced [...] Read more.
In a museum context, people have specific needs in terms of physical, cognitive, and social accessibility that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we need to find a way to make art and culture accessible to them through the aid of Universal Design principles, advanced technologies, and suitable interfaces and contents. Integration of such factors is a priority of the Museums General Direction of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, within the wider strategy of museum exploitation. In accordance with this issue, the IntARSI project, publicly funded, consists of a pre-evaluation and a report of technical specifications for a new concept of museology applied to the new Museum of Civilization in Rome (MuCIV). It relates to planning of multimedia, virtual, and mixed reality applications based on the concept of “augmented” and multisensory experience, innovative tangible user interfaces, and storytelling techniques. An inclusive approach is applied, taking into account the needs and attitudes of a wide audience with different ages, cultural interests, skills, and expectations, as well as cognitive and physical abilities. Full article
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Article
The Vocational School of Sintra and Its Contribution to Heritage Education
Heritage 2021, 4(1), 466-478; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/heritage4010028 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 757
Abstract
This paper aims to share the experience acquired with students of the 3rd year (namely the 12th grade of the Portuguese educational system) at the Vocational School for the Recovery of Heritage of Sintra in the Course of Studies for Conservation and Restoration [...] Read more.
This paper aims to share the experience acquired with students of the 3rd year (namely the 12th grade of the Portuguese educational system) at the Vocational School for the Recovery of Heritage of Sintra in the Course of Studies for Conservation and Restoration Assistants in the field of Plaster Restoration, in the classes of Work-Related Training and Analytical Methods of Examination and Laboratory Analysis, by carrying out theoretical-practical work and training in a work context specifically focused on Portuguese heritage, demonstrating how practical classes motivate students and prepare them for future professional work. This vocational course helps students to reflect and question themselves on the role of “looking” at heritage. Thus, its cross information, both interdisciplinary and from the historical-artistic context of the monument, will provide a better perspective over its materiality and its use. In situ learning awakens students to the reality of work. The notion that they are helping to maintain the memory of ancestors credits them and gives them confidence in their work. After presenting their Final Year Projects, they look at heritage with a more awakened vision. With this, they have the perception that they have contributed to the reconstruction of memory, their cultural heritage. Full article
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