The National Technical University of Athens organizes the 3rd International Scientific Conference TMM_CH with the theme “Innovative, Interdisciplinary, Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Redefining the identity of the world in crisis and conflict, through culture” from March 20 to 23, 2023 at the Eugenides Foundation in Athena . The International Conference, chaired by Omot. Prof. Antonia Moropoulou, is co-organized by the Technical Chamber of Greece, in collaboration with international organizations and councils, scientific associations and cultural heritage protection bodies.

The conference, organized by the National Technical University of Athens and the Technical Chamber of Greece, in collaboration with international organizations and councils, scientific associations and cultural heritage protection bodies, includes 13 thematic Round Table Discussions, which started on Monday 20/3 and are being held with the participation of 142 guests, connecting Science and Innovation with Policy Making, Industry and Society. The 13 scientific sessions present 163 scientific papers selected after judgment by the International Scientific Committee of the Conference, out of a total of 416 scientific papers submitted (acceptance rate 39%) by 487 authors from the 5 continents.

What was said at the beginning of the conference

“It is with great pleasure and honor that I welcome you to the opening of the conference”, said the president of the conference, Professor Tonia Moropoulou, head of the Interdisciplinary Team of NTUA, scientifically responsible for the study, planning, coordination of tasks and scientific monitoring of the emblematic restoration project of the Holy Tomb of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, announcing the start of the work of the 3rd TMM_CH. It is a “multitasking conference” as, as the professor explained, the participants can watch the panel discussions in the auditorium, as well as the scientific papers in adjacent rooms. “The conference is about the innovative scientific methodologies that emerged and were recognized through the implementation of the restoration project of the sacred canopy, a major event that was referred to in the two previous conferences held to date. The interdisciplinary collaboration established through this project supports the sustainable conservation of cultural heritage and at the same time ‘works’ hand in hand with a critical innovative parameter, which is social participation and communication, supporting mutual understanding and peace through culture” , Mrs. Moropoulou pointed out, among others.

“It is a great honor for me to announce today for the second year the opening of the third international conference on “Innovative, Interdisciplinary, Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage”, said the vice-president of the Greek government, Panagiotis Pikrammenos, through a video message. “It is now certain that digital technologies provide new opportunities to preserve cultural content and improve the accessibility of cultural heritage around the world. Museums and organizations that use technology are now able to offer innovative experiences to their visitors, as well as provide public access to remote exhibitions and material that is not on display. A brilliant example of these achievements was the unique experience of the completion of the innovative project of the restoration of the holy canopy of the Holy Sepulcher which was watched, thanks to digital technology, by billions of people all over the world”, the deputy prime minister added, among other things.

The conference was greeted, through written messages, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos and the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, while opening greetings were also addressed, either through messages or in person, by the Rector of NTUA, Prof. Andreas Boutouvis, President of TEE, George Stasinos, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture and Youth, Marija Gabriel, Director General of ICOMOS, Professor Mario Santana Quintero, Director General of the Ministry of Antiquities of Israel, Dr Eli Eskosido, President of ETEK, Konstantinos Constantis, Rector of the University of Ioannina, Professor Anna Batistatou, President of CHiFA and Honorary President of WMF, Bonnie Burnham, President of CIPA Heritage Documentation, Associate Professor Efstratios Stylianides and Director of UNESCO Chair DCH, Dr. Marinos Ioannidis.

Round table discussions

In the afternoon of the first day of work of the 3rd TMM-CH International Conference, Round Table Discussion 4 took place on the topic ” The restoration project of the Holy Kuvuklio: Interdisciplinarity and innovation in research and education “. The introduction was made by the Archaeologist who at the time represented National Geographic in the project, Dr. Fredrik Hiebert , and was followed by the presentation of the President of the International Conference and head of the NTUA Interdisciplinary Team in the emblematic restoration project, Prof. Antonias Moropoulou. 

Prof. Antonia Moropoulou pointed out the multidisciplinarity, both in the study and in the monitoring, management and evaluation of the project, as well as the use of high-tech tools, such as non-destructive testing, realistic 3D finite element models and especially the backgrounds of digital documentation, also 3D, where all information could be included. With the recognition of the European Union, this methodology characterizes the modern applications of science and technology in the conservation of cultural heritage with innovation.

Prof. Antonia Moropoulou underlined that the area of ​​research, education and application is unified and invited the Deputy Minister of Development and Investments with responsibility for Research and Innovation, Mr. Christos Dimas , to utilize this collective experience in an emblematic project. The Deputy Minister underlined the emblematic role of the project at the Holy Sepulcher and emphasized that “using innovation and scientific research, we can look for state-of-the-art technological solutions, which not only protect and preserve our cultural heritage, but also contribute to the even greater diffusion, promotion and her extroversion”.

With the positions of the representatives of the Postgraduate Programs for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Prof. Gabriele Favero from the University of Sapienza in Rome, Prof. Danielah Smits Possek from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel, Omot. Prof. Ioanna Papagianni from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Prof. Maria Stavroulaki from the Technical University of Crete, Prof. Christos Stavrakos from the University of Ioannina, Prof. Nikolaos Zacharias from the University of Peloponnese, and Prof. Andreas Georgopoulos from National Technical University of Athens, the discussion was concluded by the Rapporteur, Mrs. Antonia Lampropoulou , representative of the Strategic Alliance Erasmus+ EDICULA “Educational Digital Innovative CUltural heritage Learning Alliance”, and ended in the common acceptance of the need to form a research and education hub in the Mediterranean , for the sustainable preservation of cultural heritage, with open workshops in the historic cities of the Mediterranean, such as Athens, Rhodes, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome, Venice and others. The representative of the European Commission, Mr. Sanmartin Fulgencio , underlined the need for synergy with the 4CH Competence Center for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, in this direction, while the President of the European Association of Polytechnics SEFI, Prof. Hannu-Matti Järvinen , undertook to investigate which Polytechnic Schools would like to cooperate as a pilot in order to experimentally apply the educational toolkit created in the framework of the Erasmus+ EDICULA program.

In the morning, after all, in the Round Table Discussion 1 on the topic of ” Historic cities and city centers: New strategies of reuse and conservation in the spirit of the circular economy “, the Mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Antonis Kambourakis , underlined that “the Medieval city of Rhodes, a of Europe’s largest inhabited historic cities within the walls – intra muros – is called upon to face the great challenge of its sustainable conservation in a way that meets the needs of improving the quality of life of its inhabitants, tourist development, in a manner compatible with the character of it as a World Cultural Heritage City, declared by UNESCO, as well as highlighting its historical character as a commercial, transportation and cultural hub of three continents. The reuse of historic buildings owned by the State, with a critical mass – more than 260 – creates a great opportunity that, under conditions and with the appropriate leverage, implementing the principles of the circular economy, can contribute income for the benefit of the sustainable preservation of the Old Town of Rhodes and society.”

Round Table Discussion 1

The Deputy Mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Stefanos Drakos , presented important application projects in the Medieval City of Rhodes. The Deputy Mayor of Athens, Mr. Vassilis-Foivos Axiotis , presented the policy of the Municipality of Athens for the revival of the historical center and the pilot actions to make Athens a European City with zero carbon dioxide emissions. Ms. Lee Minaidis , from the World Organization of Historic Cities, presented the new directions for the reuse and revitalization of historic centers, while Ms. Bonnie Burnham , Emeritus President of the World Monuments Fund, presented CHiFA’s new financial tools, which she created in order to to address the financial needs in this field.

Omot. Prof. Eleni Maistrou , representing the Hellenic Society for Environment and Culture, Prof. Mike Turner , representing the UNESCO Chair in Urban Planning and Studies, Prof. Stefano della Torre , representing the Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Milan, Omot. Prof. Haris Kokkosis , spatial planning and sustainable development expert, and Margarita Karavassili , representing the urban planning organization ECOCITY, contributed from their own point of view, highlighting the priorities of reuse and conservation in the spirit of the circular economy, each from his side and with based on his experiences. The President of the International Conference, Prof. A. Moropoulou, underlined the need for the reuse to be compatible with the character of the cultural heritage, the needs of the local community, but also at the same time to generate income in order to ensure the necessary protection. He underlined the pioneering role of Rhodes, which with the Programmatic Agreement with the Ministry of Culture in 1983, paved the way for historical cities to play an active role in their management and preservation today and to face modern challenges.

In the Round Table Discussion 2 on the topic “Digital heritage: A holistic approach” , and the participation of Dr. Marinos Ioannidis , President of the UNESCO Chair for Digital Cultural Heritage, Dr. Angelos Amditis , Director of Research at the EPISEY Institute of NTUA, Dr. Aikaterinis Delegou from the NTUA Materials Science and Technology Laboratory, Professor Roberto di Giulio , representative of the 4CH Competence Center for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Professor Andreas Georgopoulos , member of the Board of Directors of the International ICOMOS Council, Assistant Professor Andreas Menichta , from the University of Piraeus and the RESPECT program that implements the information system for the restoration of the Holy Sepulcher project, and Prof. Konstantinos Tokmakidis , from the Department of Agronomists and Topographical Engineers, AUTH, the conclusion was that the digital documentation of the of monuments can create backgrounds for the interdisciplinary synthesis of the information of each specialty that deals with the monument and allow the holistic approach of the monument with extensions to the recording of the identity of the cultural heritage of Europe and the world with multiple applications.

In the Round Table Discussion 3 on “Machine learning techniques for cultural heritage” and the participation of Prof. Georgios Stavroulakis , from the Institute of Computational Engineering of the Technical University of Crete, of Prof. Nikolaos Doulamis , from NTUA and the program RESPECT, which implements the information system for the restoration of the project at the Holy Sepulchre, by Prof. Alfredo Ronchi , representative of the Artcast4D project, Anna Maria Pentimalli Biscaretti di Ruffia from the Polytechnic of Milan, and Prof. Ioannis Fundou , from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Ioannina, the possibilities offered by modern IT tools for the management of large amounts of data were highlighted, in such a way as to create new knowledge in the fields of the relevant sciences as well as interdisciplinary.

In the Round Table Discussion 5 on the subject of ” Archaeology, archaeometry, archaeogenomics ” with the participation of Angeliki Simosi , Prefect of Antiquities of Piraeus and the Islands, Prof. Andreas Vlachopoulos from the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Ioannina, Mr. Christos Karapiperis , from the company DNASequence, Ms. Maria Mertzani , Director of Maintenance of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ms. Agnis Terlixi , Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Maintenance and Restoration of Works of Art of the National Gallery, and Prof. Nikolaos Zacharias , Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Cultures studies of the University of the Peloponnese, important experiences were presented such as the Ephorate of Antiquities of Evia, in Antikyra, educational excavations of the University of Ioannina, the physicochemical study of works of art in the National Gallery, the modern methods applied by the Department of Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments of the Ministry of Antiquities, the archeometric methods applied by the University of Peloponnese, but also the modern post-genomic methods applied by the DNASequence Company, which supply important projects with new archeological data, from the project at the Holy Sepulcher to projects of the Ministry of Interior Conservation, the National Gallery and others. The general conclusion of the discussion, after the information that 22,000 people watched the live streaming of the first day of work of the TMM_CH International Conference, was that the world of archeology is no longer closed, but open to modern techniques in science and society.

Live broadcast

The conference will last three days and will be held in person at the Eugenides Foundation with the possibility of online participation. You can attend the meetings and all the round table discussions of the international conference with free admission to the Eugenides Foundation, and it is possible to broadcast live as follows:

TMM-CH 2023 – Day 1 – 20.03.2023:

TMM-CH 2023 – Day 2 – 21.03.2023:

TMM-CH 2023 – Day 3 – 22.03.2023:

You can see the final program of the TMM_CH 2023 Conference on the website: .