3D Digitization As a Tool in the Conservation and Recreation of Cultural Heritage - a Case Study of the Iconostasis of a Destroyed Serbian Orthodox Church in Buda

Daniela Korolija Crkvenjakov, Željko Santoši, Igor Budak, Nataša Sladoje, Vesna Stojaković

The 19th century iconostasis of the destroyed Serbian Orthodox church in Buda represents one of the finest masterpieces by the Serbian painter ArsenijeTeodorovic. After the church was demolished in 1949, assorted icons and carved wood fragments were rescued and taken to the Serbian Church Museum in Szentendre, Hungary. In 2013, the conservation project which covered documentation, reassembling of the original pieces, conservation and restoration of icons and models of presentation inside the museum was set up. Due to its size, it would be impossible to display the iconostasis in its original form. This presented an opportunity to apply new technologies to preserve these unique heritage artifacts by digital reproduction such as virtual 3D visualization (which comprises 3D digitization, geometrical reconstruction and artistic presentation of the real object). The challenges include creating 3D models of curved icons, reconstructing the missing pieces of woodcarving and, following the completion of the conservation work, considering suitable display options for the purposes of a permanent museum exhibition. The paper presents strategies for resolving the identified problems and a detailed explanation of the applied 3D digitization method based on close range photogrammetry and demonstrated on the example of curved icons. As part of the 3D digitization task, the emphasis will be on data acquisition approaches and image processing methods. Geometric reconstruction will focus on refining the obtained polygonal models to achieve the final model of desired accuracy. This will also include an analysis of issues associated with parts assembling, primarily related to the missing details and damaged edges. Subsequently, possible approaches for virtual model accuracy verification will also be explored. Finally, issues surrounding the preservation of cultural heritage will be discussed, as well as the presentation solutions for the iconostasis’ final museum destination.