The San Baudelio Hermitage was covered in colorful wall paintings until 1926, when an art dealer removed the artworks from the monument and sold them to museums around the world. Now the monument stands in a plundered state, giving visitors an incomplete experience of the site. Since returning the paintings to their original context is impossible we used Augmented Reality as a preservation strategy to return the paintings to the walls.
AR technology allowed us to preserve the Hermitage’s current use as a spiritual sanctuary. Preserving the building in this way emphasizes its history, a history of plundering and deterioration. In this way, AR technology can redefine preservation practices because it allows us to restore a monument to some previous state(s) without sacrificing or covering up its important historical transformations. Such an approach has far-reaching theoretical and practical consequences since it turns architectural spaces into the witnesses of their own complex historical unfolding.
This project was made possible with funding from the Onera Prize for Historic Preservation.