The 4CH Project

The Cyprus Institute participates in a new and exciting initiative funded by the European Commission, aimed at creating a European Competence Center for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, promoting the use of digital technologies for the study, conservation and valorisation of Monuments and Sites. The allocated grant will help STARC/APAC researchers to develop new methods for the 3D documentation and study of the island’s archaeological heritage and to work in close collaboration with the Department of Antiquities for the development of best practices and adoption of policies which will help the public sector to implement the required Digital Transformation. The grant will also offer PhD students the opportunity to engage in multi-disciplinary, international research and be part of and contribute to shaping the digital future of the island’s Cultural Heritage.

Associate Professor Sorin Hermon represents The Cyprus Institute in the consortium, which includes leading institutions from academia, industry, SMEs and research centres with complementary expertise and wide geographic coverage of Europe. The Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics leads the project. The Consortium is open to cooperation with heritage agencies and ministries, research centres and SMEs willing to pursue cultural heritage conservation, preservation and valorisation through digital technologies. The project will foster the implementation of actions to substantially increase the number and the quality of digitized sites, documents and monuments.

The 4CH project was launched on January 1st, 2021, and has a duration of three years. Its main aim is to start implementing the CC structure, organization and services that will operate as a virtual infrastructure providing expertise, advice and services using state-of-the-art ICT with a special focus on 3D technology.

The core results of the project work will comprise:

  • a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to state-of-the-art 3D documentation of monuments and sites for conservation, preservation, access and exploitation,

  • guidance on policies and strategies,

  • a catalogue of well-documented standards,

  • an inventory of software and tools, guidelines for data acquisition, management and storage, a set of success stories on advanced digitization,

  • advice on funding opportunities, training and education plans for professionals and managers, communication and dissemination of 4CH results, and

  • a complete business model and a sustainability plan for the Competence Centre.

The Cyprus Institute’s tasks include work on the definition of 4CH requirements and the field of activities of the future Competence Centre, evaluation of the state of the Art technologies in the fields in which the Competence Centre will operate:

  • digitization and 3D modelling,

  • conservation and preservation, and

  • the exploitation of CH assets.

Within the project, the CyI's team have actively worked on implementing a map of all kinds of risks that can damage Cultural Heritage assets for prioritizing preservation and conservation activities. A matrix for identifying Cultural Heritage assets and their related risks has been created based on a division of two main risks: natural and anthropic. That division reflects a holistic approach to recognizing the risks, their causes, their overlapping, and eventually their prioritization. Further activities included testing the matrix on three test cases, opportunely chosen in Cyprus to evaluate and test the developed methodology directly on the fields. The test cases (Paphos Gate, Ayia Napa Monastery and Ayios Sozomenos) represent multi-layered past and present realities for the Competence Center's aims. Such cases offered a trifold approach that covers archaeological sites, urban and rural landscapes, and various architectural structures connected with their artefacts. Thanks to the Matrix, Cultural Heritage monuments and sites can be examined as the sum of their tangible aspects and intangible ones within their natural and anthropic environment. The results of the analyses carried out on the test cases and their comparison led to the creation of preliminary guidelines.

The CyI team also participate in the implementation of the 4CH operational platform, the Cultural Heritage Knowledge Base, the Service deployment system, the implementation of workflows and simulation through pilot cases, and the 4CH data management recommendations and guidelines, as well as taking part in the implementation of the procedures and guidelines for data creation, management and use (ensuring FAIR data) and the communication, dissemination and cross-fertilization activities of the project.

Visit 4CH Project website for more information.