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InnoRenew CoE and the University of Primorska active in the field of cultural heritage restoration

The research institute InnoRenew CoE and the University of Primorska joined the School of Renovation and the Municipality of Koper in organising a 4-day workshop on lime plasters. With such activities they further contribute to the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage, as they are aware that the precious heritage of the past is very important to reflect common values and beliefs.

Image: Lea Primožič

“At InnoRenew CoE, we approached the renovation of the Servite Monastery with our expertise in the design and construction of buildings using sustainable materials, 3D scanning of the existing building as well as 3D modelling of the envisaged state of the building,” said Eva Prelovšek Niemelä, InnoRenew CoE researcher and architect.

Image: Lea Primožič

The workshop, which is taking place at the Servite monastery and at the University of Primorska until the end of this week, started with a welcoming speech and an introductory greetings by Prof. Dr. Irena Lazar, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska.

In the workshop’s theoretical part, participants learned more about the School of Renovation training programme, the architecture of Koper and the history of the Servite monastery, as well as its importance for the city and its inhabitants. The University of Primorska, in cooperation with InnoRenew CoE, successfully completed the renovation of the roof of this outstanding cultural monument in 2021. Additionally, preliminary archaeological investigations, as well as preliminary structural and geomechanical investigations, have been carried out. InnoRenew CoE is also preparing all the necessary project documentation to obtain the building permit, which is expected to be completed early next year.

“During the archaeological excavations, a number of findings were discovered. All the archaeological probes were full of skeletons and various historical layers. The most interesting finds were a Roman mosaic and the apse of a Romanesque church. During the probing of the walls, geometric paintings and two Gothic arches were discovered. In the next month, Klavdij Zalar will carry out extensive plaster removal in the former monastery church, which will allow us to definitively determine the extent of the surviving paintings,” said Eva Prelovšek Niemelä, who also gave a tour of the Servite monastery and presented the key features of the renovation to the participants.

Image: Lea Primožič

Roman mosaic. Image: Eva Prelovšek Niemelä

Apse of a Romanesque church. Image: Eva Prelovšek Niemelä

The experts also presented lime plaster and its key properties that are important in construction. They highlighted brick and stone masonry and the different types and characteristics of facade renders.

In the practical part of the workshop, Klavdij Zalar, Academic Restorer, who also led the probing at the Servite monastery, together with participants, will prepare and make  different types of lime plasters and apply them on the stone and brickwork of the monastery.

The InnoRenew CoE and University of Primorska are striving to make the Servite monastery in Koper a new development hub for the University of Primorska, where new knowledge will be brought to the surface.

Image: Lea Primožič