Many of Ukraine’s historic monuments have been destroyed in the three months since Russia invaded the country, but cultural experts are working to conserve their memory using cutting-edge technology and 3D scans.
French engineer Emmanuel Durand is a specialist in 3D data acquisition and is assisting Ukrainian architects and historical building experts to record structures in Kyiv, Lviv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv.
“The scanner takes 500,000 points per second. On this station alone, for example, we’ll have about 10 million points. Then we’ll change the stations, go all around the building and then all this will be put together on a computer, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle but in 3D,” explained Durand.
The redbrick fire station and its watchtower, built-in 1887, are a monument to Kharkiv’s industrial revolution.
Kateryna Kuplytska, architect and member of the body documenting damaged heritage sites, said many of the buildings are in heavily destroyed areas.
“There are 500 buildings in Kharkiv due to be listed as architectural heritage, most of them are located very densely in a central historical area, which has seen destruction and was shelled and bombed.”
More than 100 structures have been hit already.
Some critics suggest it is futile to document historic buildings in such meticulous detail while the war is still raging and people are dying every day. But these experts disagree saying culture is the basis of everything.