Science for Conservation and digital story-telling
25 febbraio 2019
SUPSI, Dipartimento ambiente costruzioni e design, Aula C101, Campus Trevano, Canobbio, ore 16:30
Application to the Scientific Examination of North Korean Koguryo Cave Mural Paintings. Conference by Irina Rosete Polyakova, conservation scientist.

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Koguryo was one of the oldest Korean kingdoms located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula. At the height of its power, in the 5th century, Koguryo ruled over a vast territory. In this period many of the painted tumuli were constructed. The hypogeum environment, characterized by high relative humidity and carbon dioxide values, is not ideal for the mural paintings and as a result the paintings are very fragile and covered by a thin layer of re-crystallized calcite, which affects the visual appearance of the painted surfaces. Samples from the Koguryo tombs Jinpa-ri I (mid 6th cent. AD) and Jinpa-ri IV (late 6th cent. AD) were collected and studied with several complementary analytical techniques (optical microscopy, SEM-EDX, micro FTIR mapping, XRD, XRF, ion chromatography and immunochemical methods) aimed at characterizing their state of conservation as well as materials’ composition and painting technique.
The team set out to disseminate the interesting information obtained and an important part of this study deals with the setting up of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) dissemination and communication strategy. To this purpose, a prototype of digital Augmented Reality application was developed revealing how the scientific information could be dissemina-ted to a broader and non-specialized audience. Mobile technology represents an exceptional opportunity for the sector to offer innovative approaches for individuals to interact with cultural heritage assets. In the case of the Koguryo tombs, augmented reality models provided both important scientific and didactic aims, since the access to the tombs, which are located far away from the capital city of Pyongyang, is challenging and in most cases strictly forbidden.

Irina Rosete Polyakova

Irina Rosete Polyakova is a conservation scientist recently graduated in Science for the Conservation-restoration of cultural heritage at the University of Bologna with an experimental thesis subject concerning the scientific examination of Koguryo mural paintings. She is experienced in conducting scientific analyses and interpreting analytical data collected from a variety of works of art. She is also holding a master degree in earth sciences (soil physics) from Lomonosov Moscow State University.