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Pro Monumenta

Project Pro Monumenta is a project focused on preventive maintenance of the immovable cultural monuments and has been supported in the frame of the call of EEA and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, Programme: Preservation and revitalization of cultural and natural heritage, promotion of diversity in the field of culture and art in the frame of European cultural heritage.

The basic projetc´s aim is to build up the system of preventive monitoring of immovable natural cultural monuments filed in the Central List of monuments in the sense of section 22 of the Act No. 49/2001 Coll. about protection of monuments as changed and amended. Integrating the owner, the users, the service personnel = build the “early warning system”.

The project is based on a prerequisite that regular maintenance of immovable monuments is cheaper than its restoration once in several decades. Many monument defects and damages are caused by simple neglect or inadequate maintenance. Since the monuments are typically neither owned, nor utilised by specialists in monument care, there is a need to define strategy for regular preventive maintenance. The project forms part of both government’s declaration for 2012 - 2016 and strategic government’s document "Monument protection conception in SR up to 2020".

As part of the project, 3 teams with 3 staff members each were established to evenly cover geographical territory of the whole Slovakia. There is one technological expert – coordinator and one project manager of the whole project.  Altogether, there will be ten staff members working chiefly on site and one person for project management and coordination.

Project´s basic data:

Implementation period: 1. 1. 2014 – 30. 3. 2016

Project bearer: Monuments Board Slovakia

Partner: Riksantikvaren Norway
Financial allocation: 952 000,- €
Min. sustainable period:5 years

Fundamental project activities: monument monitoring on site, elaboration of monitoring report, drafting of recommendation and small defect repair. During the first months of project implementation, initial training and specialized courses will be conducted – required by law, but mainly those which qualify monitoring team members for necessary work. Template for monument technical report along with detailed manual describing what and how is being checked will be introduced into practice. Universal methodology for monument status monitoring will be created together with recommendations for its maintenance or potential repair. Monument technical report template and procedure manual will be generated based on cooperation in collaboration with experts on monument protection in SR. Its parts will focus details of monument technical status monitoring, especially in following areas: monument statics, statics of wooden constructions, construction technologies and monument humidity. Expert project coordinator will supervise and coordinate elaboration of manual and monument technical report template.

As a part of monument assessment, the monitoring/inspection team will identify and repair easy-to-mend defects which have led or may lead to monument deterioration. These mainly include basic roofing repair (replacement or shifting of several shingles, tiles, etc.), repairs of chimney, rainwater drains, fixing of lightning conductors, etc.  The team can also advise monument owners/administrators about adequate ways to mend small defects. Larger scope of damage will be documented in the monument technical report. It is expected that technical reports will be processed in line with the manual – software application - right on the spot via sturdy tablets and complemented by visual display (photos, video), measurement data (taken from thermal imaging camera, hygrometer, etc.), preparation and adjustment of material needed for simple repair. If necessary, samples will be taken for further assessment (outstanding monument or its part, persisting problems, etc.).

Being a written and visual record on the status of monument, the technical report should become part of broader Slovak Monument Bureau’s database.  Monitoring team will present the owner/administrator with „Certificate on Monument Status“, containing brief evaluation of the monument status, its primary diagnostics and concise summary of potential defects. Technical report will be used as background data for maintenance plan, thus it forms crucial part of preventive maintenance strategy  as the highest form of monument protection.

Project will starts its implementation with monuments owned by the state, local government and church. Monument Board of the Slovak Republic or its respective regional office will be in charge of selecting monuments based on updated knowledge or need for knowledge about the most interesting monuments in given region.

During the project course, new guidelines for monument owners will be created - 6 volumes based on the type of monuments – to be publicly accessible at Slovak Monument Board’s website and project webpage. Guidelines will describe steps necessary to be taken for self-monitoring and basic repair of selected parts of immovable property as well as recommendations for basic maintenance and repair.

In co-operation with respective Regional Monument Board, one seminar a year will be organised in the monitoring team’s location for monument owners and administrators. Such seminars will also serve as events conveying information about the project to the public.

The project webpage will contain an online form for monument monitoring applicants, based on which owners of monuments may applyy for the relevant service.

Each year, one meeting with Norwegian partner and invited experts from countries with established monument monitoring system will be organised. Riksantikvaren - Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage – as an associate partner, will draw inspiration and experience from project implementation with the aim of adopting selected parts in Norway. Regular meetings will deal with current project status reports, their evaluation, visits to offices established for the project purposes, observation of teams during monument monitoring visits at site.  An expert from Nasjonele Fervardung will form part of the delegation and conduct workshops for team members on monument conservation and repair in a given area. Altogether, it is expected that 4 persons will come for three 5-day (4 nights) visits.

Apart from meetings with Norwegian partner, it is planned to organise annual 2-day workshop attended by 3 experts from a country with existing monument monitoring system to practice actual monitoring on site. The experts would come from Netherlands, Belgium and Hungary, respectively. Workshops will be a place for team members and project managers to exchange and share knowledge and experience from project implementation with Norwegian partners via lectures, presentations, demonstrations or panel discussions. . Altogether, it is expected to host three 4-day (3 nights) visits.