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projekt ARRS J7 - 9404

Basic data

Title: Protection of bronze monuments in the changing environment
Duration: 36 months (1.7.2018 – 30.6.2021)
Code: J7-9494
Leading partner: ZVKDS
Project leader: dr. Polonca Ropret
Financing: Javna agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije


Copper and bronze undergo spontaneous oxidation in humid air, but the aggressive environment (e.g. acid rain,..) the outdoor bronze monuments are exposed to, influences their further corrosion and degradation. In spite of the extensive corrosion studies of bronze and artist’s patina, only few direct correlations of environmental conditions, to which a work of art is exposed, to the corrosion development exist. Furthermore, this problem is exacerbated due to the rapid global environmental changes and pollution. In order to protect bronze cultural heritage objects only certain corrosion protection methods may be used, but the protection systems that were in the use till now are not always effective and could be environmentally questionable, and need to be adapted to the environmental conditions a work of art is exposed to. Furthermore, the increasing urbanisation, mass tourism, neglect or vandalism of the outdoor-exposed bronze objects, end the ever-changing means and ways of communication among people of different generations call also for modern social measures/actions to be developed to provide care for their physical component, and appreciation of cultural heritage monuments in general.

Keywords: Corrosion and protection of bronze objects, bronze monuments, environmental influences, development of ICT tools, sensors development, cultural heritage, integration of society into the care for heritage

Project goals

The project will focus on the development of protection systems for bronze objects against environmental factors in different climatic conditions. For that reason a special monitoring system will be set at 4 selected case studies located in different climatic areas in Slovenia (The Prešeren Monument, located in the centre of Ljubljana in a non-traffic area; the Mary's pillar, located in a traffic area in Levstik square in Ljubljana; the Tartini monument, located in the coastal area in Piran; and the Monument to Four Courageous Men, situated in a rural area in Ribčev Laz, a village in the Bohinj municipality). For each the best protection will be developed.

Za učinkovito izvedbo projekta bomo zasledovali naslednje cilje:

1. develop the appropriate monitoring system at each location (T, RH, PM10, PM2,5, SO2, CO, O3, NO2, volatile hydrocarbons – benzene, toluene, m, p – xylene)
2. characterise the corrosion products at the selected case studies and eventual artists’ patinations
3. establish the direct correlations of environmental conditions a work of art is exposed to with the corrosion development
4. develop the tailored protection systems
5. develop ICT tools in order to engage the local interested public, tourists, school,… to send photos of bronze objects to a common server. The project partners will then review the photos with the help of the developed ICT tools. The campaign will focus on encouragement of the public to send the photos of damaged parts of statues. 
6. Image analysis and correlation/comparison with the scientific testing/research described above
7. develop an alert system in order to on time inform the stakeholders of the potential damage recorded by the public
8. special attention will be put to attract the public (as a school project, grass-roots initiative, and as generally motivated citizens/tourists (through Tourist boards, online/mobile apps, motivation “awards”, etc.


Work packages

WP1 Coordination, project management and dissemination (1-36 Month), WP leader ZVKDS
Task 1.1 Project coordination, management and reporting (1 – 36 Month) 
Task 1.2 Dissemination of results in scientific and professional journals, and conferences (12 – 36 Month)
WP2 Characterisation of case studies and model samples (1 – 36 Month), WP leader ZVKDS
Task 2.1 Investigation of corrosion products at selected case studies (1 – 4 Month)
Task 2.2 Preparation of bronze models for on-site exposure (4 – 6 Month)
Task 2.3 Monitoring of the on-site exposed models (6 – 30 Month)
Task 2.4 Establishment of the direct correlations of environmental conditions with the corrosion development (30 – 36 Month)
WP3 Development of effective bronze protection systems (6 – 36 Month), WP leader ZAG
Task 3.1 Testing of fluoropolymer coating and their application to laboratory models (6 – 12 Month)
Task 3.2 Laboratory and on-site monitoring of the efficiency of the corrosion-inhibition systems (12 – 30 Month)
Task 3.3 Establishment of the most efficient corrosion inhibition systems (30 – 36 Month)
WP4 Development of ICT tools (1 – 30 Month), WP leader InnoRenew
Task 4.1 Sensor development and integration (1-6 Month)
Task 4.2 Data management, analysis, and presentation (for science and the society) (4-18 month)
Task 4.3 Correlation/modelling of chemical analyses, meteorology, and crowdsensing (7-30 month)
WP5 Social mechanisms to include the interested public in the CH care (1 – 36 Month), WP leader InnoRenew
Task 5.1 Focus groups with target groups (1-6 Month)
Task 5.2 Workshops for rising the awareness, gamification concepts development (1-12 Month)
Task 5.3 Narrative for social media campaign and social engagement measures development (6-36 Month)



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