Concept And Brief Presentation Of Emergency Interventions

The emergency interventions were designed taking into account specific demands deriving from the importance of the monument and the necessity for implementation of final restoration works without removing the supports and scaffoldings. Thus, they had to be reversible, easily assembled and allowing for gradual disassembling in the interior, as well as adjustable to the deformed geometry of damaged elements. Moreover, any contact with the vulnerable mural mosaics was to be avoided.

To this end various alternative solutions were examined (Miltiadou-Fezans et al. 2003a). Figure 4 shows schematically the retained one. In the NE corner of the building, three double-framed steel raking shores was constructed, as in this area a pronounced tilting of the external walls has been noticed and the telltales installed just after the earthquake, indicated further opening of cracks and a tendency of the corner to detach (Fig. 5). In the interior, and in the exonarthex, vertical steel props were built beneath the main arches, in order to provide vertical support to their cracked structure (Fig. 6).

Both the raking shores and the vertical props were self supported elements, which would be activated only in case of further increase of the deformations of the structure. Thus, between the metal framework and masonry walls, a 12 cm full layer of wooden beams and wedges (together with a 3 mm soft packing) were inserted, to provide good contact with the masonry without harming the surfaces, while allowing relative movement, unless the structure did start to move towards them. Moreover, the upper part of the exonathex walls and the NW and SW piers were confined using steel plates and bars.

Regarding the drum of the dome, specially designed steel elements were constructed to brace the windows and confine in two levels the masonry piers (Fig. 7),

Figure 5. Raking shores installed in the NE corner.
Figure 6. Vertical steel props installed in the interior of the church, and in the exonarthex.

taking special care to assure the in situ assemblage of all these structures without harming the mural mosaics. Furthermore, the following measures have been undertaken: (a) the installation of adequate types of scaffoldings in the interior and exterior of the church, in order to offer safe working conditions for the personnel, and (b) the removal of the tiles of the roof and the application of temporary water isolation membranes just below them, to protect the cracked extrados of the vaulted structures, and hence the mural mosaics from leaking water.

Figure 7. Emergency measures applied to the dome s drum.

Figure 8. West and south façade: 1st construction phase, drawings of Benouville as modified by Delinikolas (Millet 1899, Delinikolas et al. 2003).

Figure 7. Emergency measures applied to the dome s drum.

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