Having a twin is the best “secret weapon” in any monument. Lyon Cathedral has a “replica”. The task is given to the dog Spot. The company from León, Plain Concepts, took Leica, the robotic dog, for a walk inside the Gothic temple. Spot ran a laser scan and captured 5,000 million dots, which, taken together, reproduce with millimeter accuracy every corner of the interior and exterior of the 13th-century building. An essential tool in disaster situations, as happened with the Notre Dame fire, or to compare its current condition with the future. Spot’s work has more uses, such as “making available a viewer for everyone allowing them to enter the bowels of the Cathedral of Leon, checking how it was made, what its real form and not what form we would appreciate” and allowing “anyone to enjoy this outstanding building of the Spanish historical heritage”, he explains Lyon multinational website.
In the last century, the twins played tricks. This is what happened to the Virgen de la Consolación, a 13th-century carving by the same author as the famous Virgen Blanca. The statue was left in a very dangerous state of preservation due to its “vulnerability”. When making a replica of the statue in a niche in the cloister of the cathedral, in order to place it in the arch of Nuestra Señora de Regla, the artists damaged the original sculpture in the process of ‘pulling points’, an age-old technique used in sculpture which consists of fixing spaces in the model and transfer them to the stone block. The Virgin’s face was left as if she had chickenpox, not only hard-to-remove paint stains, but also holes.
The arch at San Pedro de Dueñas was the first piece to be made using 3D printing in concrete
Now new technologies are not “invasive”. They don’t even touch the “skin” of the relics. Not only can you save the cathedral to memory (a pendrive), but, perhaps, you can also copy it in 3D in real size. The National Archaeological Museum did it four years ago with an arch from the Monastery of San Pedro de las Dueñas. The arch was dismantled in 1931 during clandestine work. As Angela Franco states in her book Arte leonese fuera de León, those works consisted of “dismantling some pieces of art, packing them up, and loading them into trucks with an unknown destination.” All tasks were carried out under the supervision of the abbey’s chaplain, who was, at the same time, the parish priest of San Pedro de Dueñas. It was bought by the Archaeological Museum for 70,000 pesetas (420 euros).
In 2019, Acciona, one of the largest companies in the Ibex 35, founded by the Entrecanales family from Lyon, made a full-scale replica of this Roman aisle (2.2 meters high and 3.3 meters wide), which was placed in the garden of the museum in Calle Serrano Street, while the original has been kept inside. It was the first piece of architecture in the world to be reproduced by 3D printing on concrete.
Luis Coya Allies has been honoring Leonean heritage for years. Uruguayan by birth, this researcher with family in San Martín de Valdetujar, has “X-rayed” more than 600 monuments; Fortunately, there are a large number in Lyon County. Each “reconstruction” involves more than 400 images and a software program that works by means of pixel identification algorithms, which, if necessary and as suggested by some experts to the Parisian cathedral, allow damaged elements to be reconstructed using a 3D printer.
Before Spot’s arrival, Lyon Cathedral was already a pioneer. Cabildo decided in 2017 to survey the 54 capitals distributed between the monastery and the museum. Reproducing in three dimensions the miniatures that adorn these columns, some of which have already deteriorated, would allow them to be preserved when they disappear or when the sculptures are practically unrecognizable. Notre Dame’s salvation was a video game. Assassin’s Creed Unity, released in 2014 and set in the French Revolution, reconstructs Paris’ millimeter cathedral that burned down on April 15, 2019.
It’s been a long time since many diggers haven’t needed to get their hands dirty. In 2019, the city council of León paid €24,600 to investigate the Jewish settlement of Puente Castro with drones and georadar. The person in charge of this project was the Leonese archaeologist Esperanza Martín – who had uncovered the La Carissa sites -. At Castrum Iudeorum, he did not use picks or shovels, but rather the latest technology, which makes it possible to build a three-dimensional map of the sediment and see what is hidden. With all the data obtained through georadar, drones, flights and Lidar technology (detection of light and range, i.e. detection by light and distance) they produced original X-rays of the area with pioneering technology that allows taking infrared images that identify traces of structures without fringes mistake.
The drones also made it possible to detect the 18 fields of maneuver at Trobajo del Camino and Otero de la Valdoncina that were used by the Romans at Legio VI and VII. Ángel Murillo, professor of archeology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and senior expert on Roman León, Almudena Oregas, CSIC professor, and joined by Javier Fernández Lozano, professor of mining exploration and research at the University of León, managed to collapse the large military complex erected by the Roman Empire in León . The first indications were discovered through aerial photographs, and a review of photographs from the 1950s to the present. Next, they used a laser scanner with an airborne cap, georadar, metal detectors, and drones.
For more than 25 years, American researcher Therese Martin has been trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding the San Isidoro treasure, drawing attention to the quantity and quality of things that make up it. It is now proposed to analyze metallic objects by X-ray fluorescence, to find out their composition and the goldsmithing process. frequent. Martin’s team will work “on site,” without having to move objects from San Isidoro, using portable X-ray fluorescence equipment to determine the mineral’s chemical composition. It is the “bag of truth” that can clear up many unknowns.
The Ministry of Culture coordinates the Knowledge Heritage Network (KHN) project of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, recently approved and in which the communities of Aragon and Galicia also participate. The total budget is €15,948,665 and will run until 2026. This is a pilot project in the digital transformation of cultural heritage management, which is centered around four action axes: the digital database; the general plan for remote monitoring of cultural assets; a network of SmartLabs for material research and preservation processes; and artificial intelligence applied to cultural heritage management systems.