Photo: The work of RTU scientists in Ukraine helps to save the destroyed cultural monuments

Scientists from Riga Technical University (RTU) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture (MoC) provide assistance to Ukraine in the preservation of cultural monuments of war victims. Three experts in Ukraine conducted a three-dimensional scan of cultural heritage sites, recording the damage and obtaining data to plan the strengthening and restoration of cultural monuments to the victims of the war, according to information published on the university’s website.

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From 6 to 16 June, a UNESCO expert, Dr. ARCHItrāvs, a member of the board of SIA ARCHItrāvs, worked in Ukraine. Bruno Delands, RTU Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Geomatics, Associate Professor Dr. Maris Kalinka and Kirill Gorovojs, PhD student at RTU Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (DITF).

According to a list compiled by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the scientists performed 3D measurements on cultural buildings, churches and cultural monuments that have suffered from the Russian attack on Ukraine and need to be restored. They worked at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Uhniv, Lviv Oblast, the Vasily Tarnowsk Museum of Antiquities of Ukraine, the Youth Culture Center and the Chernivtsi Cinema, as well as the St. Cyril’s Cathedral in Kiev, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The extensive experience of the Latvian team in performing such tasks allowed to accurately document the damaged buildings using laser scanners. The scientists carried out a detailed diagnosis of the damage and advised the Ukrainian authorities responsible for the installation of the emergency fastening structures and the long-term reconstruction work.

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Photo: The work of RTU scientists in Ukraine helps to save the destroyed cultural monuments
Photo: Bruno Deslandes

During their stay in Ukraine, Latvian scientists also met with representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, as well as the Ambassador of Latvia to Ukraine.

Delands, with whom RTU has long cooperated in the preservation of cultural heritage, already has a unique, internationally recognized experience in operating in similar conditions in Syria, even in cases where cultural heritage has been damaged as a result of armed conflict.

Photo: The work of RTU scientists in Ukraine helps to save the destroyed cultural monuments
Photo: Bruno Deslandes

Kalinka and Gorovoj together with Ingars Eriņš, Professor of the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Systems Engineering at RTU DITF, specialize in the creation of 3D models of both historical objects and new buildings. In the spring, Kalinka and Gorovoy, along with Deland, surveyed an ancient caravan city in Saudi Arabia to create a model of virtual and augmented reality that could be used to explore history. They have also created 3D models of buildings in the RTU student campus in Ķīpsala, so that they can be used in building management.

RTU scientists perform 3D measurements to preserve the cultural values ​​destroyed in the war in Ukraine

This Ukrainian aid project is similar to the Latvian government’s technical assistance to Iraq in 2005-2006. per year. It builds on recent interventions in war zones in Iraq and Syria, as well as other UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Middle East.

The work of KM researchers in Ukraine is supported with funding of 24 thousand euros, but the project is administered by RTU.