23.05.2011 - UNESCO Beirut Office

Protecting Baalbek's Integrity

©UNESCO/Firas Al-Khateeb3D image of Baalbek's antiquities

UNESCO Beirut has completed the capacity building of human resources for digital documentation of world heritage sites affected by the 2006 war in Lebanon.

UNESCO assessment mission for (July –August 2006) war damages on World Heritage Sites of Lebanon expressed concern regarding the routine maintenance of those sites and recommended to prioritize the establishment of an integrate action plan for tangible cultural heritage conservation all over Lebanon. The main objective of the project presented in this book was to build capacities of Human Resources in charge, or potentially linked with, the conservation, the development and the enhancement of tangible cultural heritage in Lebanon, while the main subject of the action is to establish accurate high definition
3D digital data and documentation for Heritage Sites through pilot on-site operation for Baalbek World Heritage Site.

The project was developed in a two-phase framework, where Phase I was completed in collaboration with Lebanon’s Directorate General of Antiquities and consultants from the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) who guided the 3D recording of the property,
using a time-of-flight laser scanning device, which produced a reliable and accurate set of 3D point clouds.

Furthermore, Phase II focused on providing the methodological framework for “Risk Preparedness” in order to evaluate the rate of decay affecting the integrity of the traces in the fabric and the significance of the property. A designated pilot area’s state of conservation was studied in detail and the methodology
was also tested. This serves as an example for future works related to the thorough assessment of the entire property.

The work represents the effort of a multidisciplinary and international team of experts from Lebanon, Belgium, Portugal and Venezuela with the support of UNESCO Beirut Office. Additionally, the team has produced a number of guidelines for the preparation of measured drawings of the entire property, using
3D Laser Scanning data and panoramic photography, acquired during Phase I.

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