Innovative technologies for cultural heritage preservation at the ETU "LETI" summer school

Innovative technologies for cultural heritage preservation at the ETU

On July 20, the international online summer school on Heritage Science, dedicated to science in preserving the cultural and historical heritage, started at ETU "LETI."

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On July 20, international summer online school on Heritage Science began at ETU "LETI." During the course, students will learn with the history of art, the basic principles of restoration, storage and exhibiting of artworks, as well as with the basic physical, chemical, laser, and optoelectronic techniques and methods used in this field.

The program seeks to meet the museums' needs for highly-qualified engineering specialists. Modern problems of museum work cannot be solved effectively without the use of the latest equipment, including optoelectronic devices and lasers, and therefore restorers need to acquire both knowledge in the humanities and engineering.

The first summer school in this area was successfully held in 2019. Several new lecturers will take part in this year's school, thus expanding the range of issues covered by the program.

"Unfortunately, the online format cannot fully compensate for the lack of practical training. However, it has allowed for an increase in the number of lecture hours, which made it possible to consider certain issues related to the use of innovative technologies in the preservation of cultural heritage in more detail," Vadim Parfenov, a coordinator of the Heritage Science school, Associate Professor of the departments of Photonics and Laser Measuring and Navigation Systems, said.

The classes of the program will be conducted by leading professors of the Department of Photonics of ETU "LETI," experts from St. Petersburg museums and institutes, as well as invited professors from Italy: Professors at the University of Salento Giuseppe de Benedetto and Manuela de Giorgi, a graduate of the University of Bologna Irina Rosette Polyakova, Professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Gabriel Ferrini, Professors at the University of Florence Maurizio Becucci and Marilena Ricci, Professor at the Institute of Applied Physics Valentina Raimondi.

"Starting from September, our university begins to train master's students in English in the first Heritage Science program in Russia. The topic of culture is the key topic for our beautiful city of St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. And the issue of cultural heritage preservation using modern methods and technologies is more relevant than ever. Now, in summer, we are conducting a short-term professional school Heritage Science as planned before the global pandemic. LETI quickly adapts to any external changes, so the online format of the school has not become a problem for us, but on the contrary, allowed to connect more international experts and students. We invite everyone to get acquainted with the issues of cultural heritage preservation, both within the school and in the master's program."

Anastasia Minina, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of ETU "LETI"

In 2020, ETU "LETI" will first hold an English-taught master's program on Heritage Science for the first time. It will use the experience of the summer school to train specialists in the field of restoration and museum work. Graduates of the school will be able to continue their studies in the master's program. 

About 30 students have enrolled in the school. Among the participants are students from Italy, the USA, China, India, Sri Lanka, and Russia.

"It is interesting that there are students from leading world universities among the students of the school. For example, there are several participants from the University of Bologna, which is ranked 201 in the Academic Ranking of the World Universities. Also, experts from the most famous museums of Russia - the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum - took part in the school, which clearly indicates the high interest and relevance of this area. The summer school on Heritage Science showed the demand for the opening of the master's program of the same name at LETI."

Alexandra Kilina, Head of the Preparatory Department for International Students of ETU "LETI"