Cathedrals, distributed throughout Europe, are representative of the diversity of European cultural heritage. Five different cathedrals were selected as they may be considered as representative of both different exposure conditions and different types of stones. In particular, the Cathedral of Pisa, in central Italy, and the Cathedral de Santa María of Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain were selected as representative of south European “Mediterranean” climate in coastal and continental regions, respectively; the Sint-Baafs Cathedral of Ghent, in Belgium, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Mary in Cologne, Germany and the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, in Wien, Austria, were selected as representative of North European climate in coastal and continental regions, respectively. Moreover, the Oslo Opera House, was considered as an example of a contemporary building coated with white Carrara marble. They also represent different lithotypes such as marble, sandstone, limestone.
The objective is providing “key tools” for restoration and conservation:
On representative lithotypes
On European representative climatic areas
With a time-scale/environmental approach
With technology validated in relevant environment (industrial plant and monuments)
Exploiting results also on modern stone made buildings
A general protocol will be defined for the identification of the petrographic and mineralogical features of the stone materials, the identification of the degradation patterns, the evaluation of the causes and mechanisms of alteration and degradation, including the correlations between the relevant state of decay and the actual microclimatic and air pollution conditions.
The project will contribute to the development of transnational cultural tourism and to the development of common European shared values and heritage, thus stimulating a greater sense of European identity.