Protecting and preserving our cultural heritage through technology

Date 2/03/2021
Category Technology

In recent years, digital technologies that have shaken up so many aspects of our daily lives such as how we relate to each other and experience the world, have begun to have a profound impact on the cultural heritage sector too. Let's start by asking ourselves...

What is heritage preservation?

Heritage preservation is the conservation and protection of historic structures, sculptures, artefacts, in short, the culture of a territory, our identity. Heritage has been passed down from generation to generation, which is important to preserve in this ever-changing world. The aim of preserving heritage is to benefit future generations so that, through learning about the past, they can learn about the origin of structures that lived a milestone in history. Heritage preservation offers opportunities to restore rather than replace the remains of the past and carry them into the future.

For a region as rich in heritage as Aragon, ensuring that next generations can enjoy and be inspired by valuable cultural assets is an important goal for both, public and private institutions. And, as almost every aspect of modern life, digital technologies are offering solutions to boost cultural heritage preservation efforts throughout the 21st century.

Whether it is the priceless painting of Francisco de Goya, the Castillo Mayor of Emir Ayyub ibn Aviv Lajmi in Calatayud, the Castillo de Loarre in Huesca, or the Mudejar Art of Teruel, our cultural heritage can easily and permanently be damaged or even worse, destroyed, as in Belchite, which disappeared. The numerous natural and man-made threats to our cultural heritage range from pollution, floods, and wind erosion, through war conflicts to vandalism and inadequate maintenance and care.

To document these landmarks and artifacts at risk, 3D technologies such as laser scanning, drones, and photogrammetry are used to capture detailed images of these sites and objects and create an accurate 1:1 scale digital replica.

The digitalization of cultural heritage is important for the protection, conservation, restoration, research, diffusion, and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural assets from all types of cultural institutions (museums, galleries, libraries and archives, monuments, and sites). The possibilities opened up by the growing advances in digital technologies are truly spectacular and ever-increasing. From 3D technology to artificial intelligence to virtual/augmented/mixed reality, they are all being used not only to ensure the preservation of heritage but also to feed the imagination of young Aragonese digital natives, who will dynamically and interactively inspire them to admire and appreciate Aragon's vast cultural treasures, as well as for tourists.


In the end, technology is a great ally to safeguard, study, preserve, and spread Aragon's heritage, which has been demonstrated by numerous universal projects.

Topics to be discussed:

Digital documentation for heritage preservation against deterioration.

Serious Games: A digital and innovative way to spread heritage among new generations.

The commitment to safeguard our culture, our land, and our identity through repositories and Big Data.

LiDAR technology and photogrammetry, tools for research and knowledge of Aragonese heritage and its enhancement.



Joan Sastre