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      Microclimate monitoring of Ariadne’s house (Pompeii, Italy) for preventive conservation of fresco paintings

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          Ariadne’s house, located at the city center of ancient Pompeii, is of great archaeological value due to the fresco paintings decorating several rooms. In order to assess the risks for long-term conservation affecting the valuable mural paintings, 26 temperature data-loggers and 26 relative humidity data-loggers were located in four rooms of the house for the monitoring of ambient conditions.


          Data recorded during 372 days were analyzed by means of graphical descriptive methods and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results revealed an effect of the roof type and number of walls of the room. Excessive temperatures were observed during the summer in rooms covered with transparent roofs, and corrective actions were taken. Moreover, higher humidity values were recorded by sensors on the floor level.


          The present work provides guidelines about the type, number, calibration and position of thermohygrometric sensors recommended for the microclimate monitoring of mural paintings in outdoor or semi-confined environments.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Characterisation of archaeological mortars from Pompeii (Campania, Italy) and identification of construction phases by compositional data analysis

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            Long-Term Monitoring of Fresco Paintings in the Cathedral of Valencia (Spain) Through Humidity and Temperature Sensors in Various Locations for Preventive Conservation

            We describe the performance of a microclimate monitoring system that was implemented for the preventive conservation of the Renaissance frescoes in the apse vault of the Cathedral of Valencia, that were restored in 2006. This system comprises 29 relative humidity (RH) and temperature sensors: 10 of them inserted into the plaster layer supporting the fresco paintings, 10 sensors in the walls close to the frescoes and nine sensors measuring the indoor microclimate at different points of the vault. Principal component analysis was applied to RH data recorded in 2007. The analysis was repeated with data collected in 2008 and 2010. The resulting loading plots revealed that the similarities and dissimilarities among sensors were approximately maintained along the three years. A physical interpretation was provided for the first and second principal components. Interestingly, sensors recording the highest RH values correspond to zones where humidity problems are causing formation of efflorescence. Recorded data of RH and temperature are discussed according to Italian Standard UNI 10829 (1999).
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              An integrated approach to assess air pollution threats to cultural heritage in a semi-confined environment: the case study of Michelozzo's Courtyard in Florence (Italy).

              An example of an integrated approach to assess air pollution threats to cultural heritage in a semi-confined environment is presented in this work, where the monitoring campaign carried out at the Michelozzo's Courtyard (in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy) is used as a case study. A wide research project was carried out, with the main aim of obtaining the first quantitative data on air quality and microclimate conditions inside the Courtyard, and, if possible, identifying the main causes of degradation and suggesting appropriate conservation strategies. The investigation adopted a holistic approach involving thermographic measurements on the wall paintings, microclimatic analysis, gaseous pollutant monitoring, atmospheric particles characterisation and dry deposition compositional analysis. Attention was focused on the wall painting depicting the city of Hall because of its anomalous and critical conservation conditions, which are visible at a glance, due to the contrast between a wide darker zone around the central subject of the painting and external lighter areas.

                Author and article information

                Chem Cent J
                Chem Cent J
                Chemistry Central Journal
                BioMed Central
                28 November 2012
                : 6
                : 145
                [1 ]Department of Applied Physics (UD Agriculture Engineering), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022, Valencia, Spain
                [2 ]Valencian Institute for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (IVC+R), C/ Genaro Lahuerta 25-3º, 46010, Valencia, Spain
                [3 ]Center of Physical Technologies, Associated Unit ICMM-CSIC/UPV, Universitat Politècnica de València, Av. de los Naranjos s/n, 46022, Valencia, Spain
                [4 ]Department of Applied Statistics, Operations Research and Quality, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022, Valencia, Spain
                Copyright ©2012 Merello et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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