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8.1.B.3.6 The protection of cultural heritage and associated conservation strategies

Scientific Support to Policies

A. Policy context
At a time of enlargement of the European Union, the jointly undertaken measures and projects for the protection of our common European cultural heritage will be a strong tie for an enlarged European Union.
There is a need for all EU policies and directives to assess their impact on cultural heritage by making horizontal links (for instance between agriculture and buried archaeology or between air pollution and deterioration of architectural surfaces); furthermore there is an increasing demand for greater access to cultural heritage by European citizens and the physical impact of cultural tourism on preservation must be assessed.
But equally important is the need to ensure that all conservation practices meet modern legislation for example, relating to Health and Safety.

B. Research objectives
Multidisciplinary research is needed to provide - under the first call - the necessary scientific and technological research for the protection of the immovable cultural patrimony and its constituents and later on for the protection of the movable cultural patrimony.
It will focus on providing multi-parametrical analysis of relevant data regarding history, cultural values, architecture, structures and materials as well as environmental factors deteriorating cultural heritage; understanding materials; monitoring changes; modelling and predicting behaviour; managing cultural heritage (including accessibility) and preventing damage.
Research under this area will contribute in particular to the CAFE initiative (Clean Air for Europe) of the Commission, a daughter directive of Air Quality for Europe Directive that explicitly mentions the effects of air pollution on cultural heritage, and to the Community interventions through the " Culture 2000 " framework programme and the Structural Funds.
It will have the following specific objectives: assess air pollution effects on cultural heritage materials and make a sustainability assessment of treatments including development and application of nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology for minimal intervention in conservation and protection, evaluate the effects of global change and tourism on cultural heritage.

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