The special session entitled “New perspectives and solutions in Cultural Heritage” is a forum that will share ideas, projects, researches results, models, experiences, applications etc. focus on Preventive Conservation of marine and aerial Cultural Heritage. New technological proposals, many of them based on Artificial Intelligence, are currently being applied as measures and processes for the conservation of Cultural Heritage. This special session has its main objectives:

  • To maximize the value of research outcomes by promoting knowledge exchange, interactions, partnerships and inclusive engagement between cultural heritage researchers, individuals and organizations outside the immediate research community.
  • To encourage the implementation and transmission of research outcomes and to communicate them and the knowledge acquired among researchers and stakeholder sectors.

The session will be held in Guimarães (Portugal) as part of the 20th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence from 12th-14th July, 2023.

The best paper of this session will receive an award of 500 CHF sponsored by the MDPI Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. In addition, a selection of the best papers submitted to this session will be invited to extend their articles and submit them to the Special Issue on Advanced Technologies for Maritime and Underwater Archaeology Volume 2 of the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.


Nowadays Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CH) and, in particular, Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) represents a crucial issue to safeguard tangible testimonies of past human life preserved on the seabed. Solutions to preventive conservation in the UCH sector are still costly and sometimes very difficult to develop and implement. This is because the research activities in the marine environments imply greater difficulties than the aerial environment in terms of methods as well as in the use of advanced technologies. Underwater sites are generally difficult to access, and more dangerous, compared with working on dry land. Also, working in the marine environment, and using specific equipment requires a lot of experience, highly skilled operators and the coordination of different "technical actors", thus keeping such solutions out of the reach of "common operators".

In this context, the whole management of an underwater site, starting from the evaluation of its state of conservation until the restoration works, is often carried out by "external experts", implying enormous costs, not always manageable and applicable.

In this framework, the main objective of the session is to share research solutions tailored to the technical needs of all the actors and operators working in the Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage, and in particular, but not limited to this, in the UCH field (i.e., underwater site manager, managing institution, managing authority, etc.).

The session tries to join experts and researchers that recently focus their work on intelligent approaches for a more sustainable management of aerial and UCHs, facilitating monitoring operations, encouraging the conservation in situ, and providing accurate guidelines for a correct maintenance.

The main topics of the session (although not limited to these) are:

  • Monitoring systems providing awareness of both the artefact conservation status and of the surrounding environment.
  • AI-based decision support system (DSS) that help to collect data from the aerial and marine environment.
  • Data process by the means of AI techniques to infer subjacent relations among the parameters registered and to perform a comparative data analysis able to define which environmental aspects have a deeper impact on the preservation of the CH.
  • Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to perform and support the monitoring and maintenance activities that will be based on an innovative modular and configurable architectures.
  • Systems management and protocols for the maintenance and enhancement of CHs.
  • Underwater conservation and restoration strategies.
  • Methodologies and digital tools for underwater and aerial archaeology.
  • Sensors and innovative monitoring for the aerial and marine environment.
  • Green Conservation strategies applied to the Cultural Heritage.
  • Sustainability and Cultural Heritage: new perspectives.

So, the overall objective is to share ideas to promote and to visualize different technological and digital solutions for the safeguard of CHs, to better understand threats and solutions for a more successful and sustainable management of conservation practices of the CH.


Organizing Committee

  • Mauro Francesco La Russa, University of Calabria (Italy)
  • Michela Ricca, University of Calabria (Italy)
  • Natalia Rovella, University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Silvestro Antonio Ruffolo, University of Calabria (Italy)
  • Fabio Bruno, University of Calabria (Italy)

Special Issue

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Special Issue "Advanced Technologies for Maritime and Underwater Archaeology" published in Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. (ISSN 2077-1312, JCR (2021): 2.744 (Q1))