St Trophime
Download PDF Version >

Documentation and testing for marble and limestone conservation

With the support of the World Monuments Fund, ICR has coordinated efforts to digitally preserve the cloisters, test a variety of specialized cleaning methods and materials, fully survey and record the conditions, and conduct comprehensive laboratory tests of consolidants on the marble.

Read More

Documentation and Testing

• Development of GIS-based survey software for conditions

• Coordination of laser scanning and 3D modeling

• Coordination of laser cleaning tests

• Consolidation testing in laboratory


The software development being pursued provides a tool for surveying the current conditions of the Cloisters, with the capability of linking photographs, drawings, reports and historic documents to the database to create a single repository of information about the past and present condition of the decorative stonework.  Because the database is GIS-based, it also has the ability to calculate area and provide accurate measurements of conditions or objects, allowing for accurate assessment of the prevalence and quantity of a particular condition.


In an effort to document the Cloister of St. Trophime, a Digital Preservation Initiative was developed by WMF to create a detailed record of the Cloister and the decorative stonework.  The goal of the initiative, in addition to documenting the site, is to provide virtual access to the site for researchers, educators and the public, through a website.  ICR worked with CyArk to create the 3D model through laser scanning and high resolution photography.


A laser cleaning testing program was initiated to develop an appropriate method for addressing the complex soiling on the decorative stone elements.  An  advanced technique combining both infrared and ultraviolet rays for cleaning of historic sites, was tested in order to develop a final conservation program for the Cloister.


Testing focused on the development of potential chemical consolidation and repair options for marble is being pursued.   The goal of chemical consolidation is to slow the weathering process and limit the flaking, crumbling and loss of material that is common in deteriorated stone in historic structures.  The testing program will take place in two phases: a laboratory testing phase, followed by a field testing phase which will be designed based on the results of the laboratory tests.