How technology is helping protect Europe's heritage sites from climate change

Sep 14, 2018 186

BY: Denis Loctier

Old town quarters, such as in Gubbio, Italy, are a matter of local pride and an irresistible tourist attraction. But are we at risk of losing our historic heritage to climate change? The 14th century Palazzo dei Consoli is one of Gubbio's most iconic buildings, hosting art and archeological exhibitions. But the cracks appearing in its stone walls are raising concern that the ground under the palazzo may be shifting. This could be caused by climate change, as rains are becoming stronger and more frequent. The city takes this threat very seriously.

Filippo Mario Stirati, the Mayor of Gubbio, says: "Gubbio is a city made of stone — it's an element that is most precious to us. We have to keep it under control." Scientists from Heracles, a European research project, are studying the effects of climate change on ancient monuments. Their methods range from satellite monitoring that indicates ground shifting to electromagnetic scans and local samplings of walls, with a pressure-sensitive drilling tool.

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