“Masterpieces in 100 KM. A real and virtual journey into the culture of Basilicata to learn, preserve and enhance” is an European Project PON, funded with FESR 2014-2020, coordinated by Central Institute for Restoration (ICR), an Italian Ministry of Culture institute. In this project were involved important museums and sites in Basilicata, salient points of a network of cultural heritage to be known, protected and valorized; Matera, understood as a city museum, was included in this network.
The project saw the participation of internal staff of the ICR, as well as private companies and public institutions such as the INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics), Polytechnic of Milan, with a partnership for the development of research and innovation themes.
Environmental monitoring in museums and during temporary exhibitions, the restoration of frescoes and rock sculptures in Matera’s rupestrian churches, the development of innovative services for the transport and exhibition of artistic artifacts in relation to the priority objective of vibration reduction, were the main issues addressed in the project.
Impacts & Results
The museums of Basilicata hold particularly delicate archaeological and historical-artistic heritage collections, consisting of highly fragile artifacts, restored or in need of restoration (detached frescoes, wooden statues, ceramics, glass, metals, funerary objects, architectural elements, etc.) with often very irregular shapes, with recomposed parts, gluing or pivoting, additions, etc. All these aspects strongly influence the operational choices for their conservation and exposure. These objects, as well as being very fragile, are also characterized by great beauty and interest and for this reason they are often requested on loan for temporary exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Therefore, in addition to the conservation interventions carried out on the most needy artifacts, thinking about possible displacements, the project has sought to provide data and indications for better conservation, display and transport of these collections. The knowledge of the environmental conditions of usual conservation, of the state of conservation of the objects and the results of the diagnostic investigations have increased the knowledge of the constituent materials and of the executive techniques. All these data increase the protection level of the objects. And furthermore, this greater knowledge of the artifacts exhibited or stored in the depots, obtained with this systematic and multidisciplinary study approach conducted with the use of innovative technological tools, has supported the increase of the tourist-cultural offer of the area, confirming Matera as a museum city, where the rupestrian churches make Matera an open-air museum.
The rupestrian churches represented a second theme of interest and study of the project. The conservation of the items they contain, is a topic of great importance and complexity due to the very critical environmental conditions in which they are found. During the project, restoration interventions, environmental monitoring and diagnostic investigations were carried out which made it possible to understand and solve some problems and which, however, confirmed that conservation in such critical environments requires periodic checks and scheduled maintenance interventions. At the end of the works, a protocol was therefore developed, to be carried out with precise deadlines, so that the interventions can remain effective over time.
During the course of the project, a strong connection was constantly maintained with the public and private institutions of the Basilicata region, in order to finalize all the activities in support of a better conservation, management and enhancement of the Lucanian heritage