Perpetuating Ukraine’s Built Heritage Through Technology | war in Ukraine

French engineer Emmanuel Durand, a specialist in 3D data acquisition, traverses a tangle of beams and walks over countless rubble to place his laser digitizer, a type of tripod with a swiveling head, at a strategic corner of the fire station, which was badly damaged by Russian strikes.

Built in 1887, the red brick building with its watchtower is a symbol of Kharkiv’s industrial revolution that took place at the end of the 19th century.

With his camera Emmanuel Durand checked in the building from all angles.

In the evening Mr. Durand collects all the data on a computer, like puzzle piecesto virtually replicate the building. The end result is a perfect reproduction within 5 millimeters, which can then be rotated or sliced ​​in any direction. You can also see the craters of the explosions, the explosion of which shook the structure.

This allows the physical location of the building to be fixed in history. It can be used to see what has moved, for security, to see what can or cannot be recovered, but also for museographic aspects. or historical, he continues. We have the actual scene of the missile damage and an exact replica of the building.

A whole team mobilized

As a volunteer, Mr. Durand travels to Kyiv, Lviv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv with his digitizer, accompanied by architects, engineering specialists, historical building specialists and a museum director.

In Kharkiv alone, around 500 buildings are classified as historically interesting, most of them in the city center under Russian fire, according to architect Kateryna Kouplytska, a member of the commission responsible for identifying historical sites.

Hundreds of them were hit in Kharkiv, while more than 350 historical buildings in the country have been damaged or destroyed since the war began, according to the culture ministry.

Even though the Russian noose around the country’s second-largest city has loosened, shells are still falling regularly.

New explosions and the explosion they cause, bad weather, works, visits… These weakened buildings can decay even faster. And you have to get the details right in order to stabilize them and keep her memory accurate, she explains.

The damage report is also used for criminal proceedings. Across the country we are seeing serious damage to our heritage. It is genocide of Ukrainian people and genocide of Ukrainian cultureshe says, referring to war crimes.

After two days in the barracks, Emmanuel Durand’s team moved to the Faculty of Economics at the National Karazine University in Kharkiv, right next to the imposing headquarters of the Ukrainian Security Services (SBU), the target of numerous troops hit by Moscow shells.

The faculty, a former Tsarist then Soviet building, is one of the first reinforced concrete buildings in the country. It is signed by the architect Serguiï Tymoshenko, a figure of the style modern ukrainian in the beginning of the 20th century.

protection of cultural heritage

Isn’t this recording work in vain if the war goes on and people are dying every day? Culture is the basis of everything. If culture had spread as it should, probably no people would have died and there would have been no war.answers Tetyana Pylypchouk, member of the commission, but also director of the Kharkiv Literary Museum.

She had most of her collections sent to western Ukraine to prevent them from being damaged by the war, but also to avoid Russian vandalism in the eventual fall of Kharkiv.

Today people are even more aware that cultural heritage is important when we have not paid attention to it. Before the war, she says.

Darren Pena

Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.

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