Around the World in 80 Models: Sessa Aurunca

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we remain in Southern Italy, where Danilo Prosperi of ARCHIMETRIA Group tells us about laser scanning Sessa Aurunca’s cathedral.

Sessa Aurunca, Italy: Duomo

For ten years, since 2006, “ARCHIMETRIA Group” has worked in 3D Documentation and Laser Scanner technology on Italian Cultural Heritage and Historical Monuments, Architecture, Archaeology, Sacred Arts, Sculpture and Museums. 3D documentation and laser scanning is my core business and my work. Since 2009 I have been CTO and Founder of “ARCHIMETRIA Group” (3D Scanning Studio). Since 2013 I’m also Scientific Director of “ArchuerLab: Research Center on Innovative Technologies regarding Digital Surveys, Analysis and Representation about Architecture and Sacred Arts”. I hold a 2nd level Masters degree in Architecture, Sacred Arts and Liturgy from the European University of Rome.

For all my works I usually use:

FARO Laser Scanner Focus 3D
Leica Geosystems Total Station
Nikon cameras and equipments

FARO Scene
RapidForm XOR3
Agisoft PhotoScan

This wonderful work was realized by ArchuerLab. The subject of the 3D Model is the 11th century Byzantine-style Mosaic Floor in Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, in Sessa Aurunca city (Caserta).

The Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is a building of superb beauty dating back almost one thousand years, with an absolutely unique feature: it is “the other original”, an almost exact copy of the church at Montecassino Abbey which was destroyed by bombing during World War II and subsequently rebuilt. The two buildings differ only in the number of naves: Montecassino has five, while Sessa Aurunca has three.

The Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is one of the infinite “pearls” of Italian artistic heritage. Indeed, it stands out for its beauty and historical significance: despite the changes made over the centuries (Baroque and eighteenth-century additions), the cathedral still bears direct witness to the typical religious architecture of the period, combining structural rigour, Christian symbolism and a number of refined Byzantine-style elements (such as the splendid mosaic floor).


A photo of the Byzantine mosaic floor

Despite its significance, the Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is not well-known among the general public and is overlooked by “traditional” tourist flows. For this reason, the Diocese and the Municipality of Sessa Aurunca in the Campania region of Italy decided to launch the “Sessa Aurunca 3D Project”, a communications project designed to promote the Cathedral and provide the associated services and products.

Before we began scanning the work, it was necessary to remove all the chairs that covered the Mosaic floor. The main problem, however, was the mosaic floor size (about 20 x 8 meters), and the minimal light inside the Church. 10 Laser scans were necessary to capture the mosaic. A further 40 scans were needed for the whole church. In order to complete the photogrammetric survey, it was necessary to use a scaffold to have a sufficiently high point of view to better photograph all the individual portions of the mosaic. 60 HD photos were taken to capture the entire mosaic.

The “Sessa Aurunca 3D Project” has several goals and is broken down into seven specific points that will explore new frontiers within the world of communications: the publication of academic and scientific reports and articles; the organisation of conventions, seminars and events; the production of stereoscopic 3D animations and videos, with the creation of a YouTube channel and dedicated videos; the creation of a 360° Virtual Tour with a database and “multidata” to “explore” the Cathedral using computers and mobile devices; the creation of a thematic App, called “Visited” (available on Apple Store and Google Play) and the official website; and the production of a “docu-film” about the project and the technologies used.

Our work has been covered by FARO, EWTN, and Archeomatica, which featured the Cathedral on their cover.

Best regards

Arch. Danilo PROSPERI

To see more of Danilo’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile.

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.

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