Digital Color Restoration of Vandalized Monument’s Frescoes

  • Dimitrios MakrisEmail author
  • Melina Aikaterini Vlachou
  • Leonidas Karampinis


The subject of this paper is the application of virtual color reconstruction on vandalized frescoes and the documentation of their previous conservation status, using three-dimensional scanning technology and close-range photogrammetry. The church of St. John, located in the olive grove of the Technological Educational Institution of Piraeus, was chosen for this study, mainly because its interior has suffered vandalism the last few years and great parts of wall frescoes have been destroyed. We have, as a source material, a laser scanner point cloud of the interior space of the church of St. John and after the completion of the typical workflow, the application of the digital intervention followed. Our approach is a result of a multidisciplinary research, based on the code of ethics and practice of conservation of cultural heritage. The digital color restoration of frescoes was implemented in accordance with the principles of visual compensation approaches. The extensive losses on the frescoes’ painting layer led us to use the color restoration techniques of chromatic abstraction, neutral color, and mimetic color. However, for the current needs of digital color inpaint, we define a new technique. This study helped us experiment in this interdisciplinary field and explore the benefits of digital technologies in the field of conservation of cultural heritage. The resulted high-resolution three-dimensional colored virtual reconstruction of the lost frescoes provides a faithful and excellent opportunity for both scholars and audience to examine and appraise a lost piece of cultural heritage.


Three-dimensional scanning Photogrammetry Visual compensation Digital color inpainting Frescoes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitrios Makris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melina Aikaterini Vlachou
    • 2
  • Leonidas Karampinis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Interior Architecture, Decorative Arts and DesignTechnological Educational Institution of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of ArtTechnological Educational Institution of AthensAthensGreece

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