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18 February Feb 2016 1118 9 months ago

Diary of the restoration sites

A small red hot air balloon in the Duomo to monitor temperature and humidity in the Cathedral

Distribution of the temperature and humidity values inside the Cathedral are being monitored as a result of   collaboration between Veneranda Fabbrica and Milan Polytechnic University. This is a new type of investigation which has never been carried out so far in the history of the Duomo.

All the worshippers and visitors who enter the Duomo during this period will see a small red hot air balloon moving between the naves of the Cathedral,  designed to explore a significant and still unknown aspect of the complex life of this monument.

In the context of the in-depth studies on the Duomo which Veneranda Fabbrica and Milan Polytechnic University are jointly developing, thanks to the stipulation of an important scientific collaboration agreement, an exciting new chapter began yesterday: monitoring of distribution  of the temperature and humidity values inside the Cathedral, which has never been carried out so far in the history of the Duomo

The huge interior space, the significant local rainfall, the considerable thermal variations to which the Duomo and its precious Candoglia marble are subject, are only some of the factors that make this study particularly complex.

Given the absence of historical data sets on the subject, the first activity that proved to be fundamental was to undertake a quick initial recognition of the current temperature and humidity value distributions  throughout the Cathedral, and this is what we are doing at the moment. On the basis of the results of this first survey, it will be possible to design a system of microprobes for continuous data recording.

For this purpose, the team of the Department of Architecture, Construction Engineering and Built Environment of Milan Polytechnic University, which is carrying out the surveys, has decided to use a sensor suspended from a  helium balloon and manoeuvred by a small winch. 

Via this collaboration and the latest technologies made available by the Polytechnic, combining skill and research, innovation and knowledge, Veneranda Fabbrica will continue to provide updated reports on the results of this important monitoring in these pages of the “Diary of the Restoration Sites” on the  portal duomomilano.it.