Cyprus University of Technology: ARGUS, a beacon of innovation and hope in the preservation of cultural heritage sites

In December 2023, the European cultural landscape embarked on a transformative journey with the initiation of the ARGUS project (Non-destructive, scalable, smart monitoring of remote cultural treasures), a beacon of innovation and hope in the preservation of cultural heritage sites. Backed by Horizon Europe, ARGUS is not just a project; it’s a revolutionary approach to safeguarding our shared history through the power of cutting-edge technology and collective action.

Preserving our rich cultural heritage faces a critical challenge: the effective remote monitoring of built heritage assets. Current methods fall short, risking the deterioration of invaluable structures, which are especially threatened by Climatic Changes and human activity. In this context, ARGUS emerges as a ground-breaking beacon of innovation. With a focus on preventive preservation, it pioneers a novel digital twin model, advanced digitisation workflows, multi-scale and multi-modal monitoring approaches, advanced hardware manufacturing and integration techniques, extended visualisations, and AI-powered decision support mechanisms (Figure 1). This ambitious initiative, uniting heritage management with artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology, promises a transformative leap in heritage preservation, ensuring the longevity of our built treasures. Spanning three years, ARGUS embarks on a mission to redefine heritage preservation.

Under the guidance of visionary leaders and a consortium of experts, the project aims to develop smart, scalable solutions for the monitoring and management of cultural sites, making them resilient against present and future challenges. ARGUS’ mission is orchestrated across five thematic pillars, from developing advanced digital and measurement infrastructures to fostering sustainability and engaging communities. By embracing a multi-dimensional strategy, ARGUS aims to establish a new paradigm in heritage preservation, characterised by its preventative, protective, and mitigative strategies.

The technological backbone of ARGUS is its most compelling narrative. By integrating satellite remote sensing, aerial and ground measurements, GIS-based spatial modelling, AI-driven predictive analysis, and immersive realities for digital twins and advanced visualisations, ARGUS is setting new standards in heritage conservation. Targeting researchers, stakeholders, authorities, and the public, ARGUS promises real-time monitoring, long-term analysis, and innovative strategies to safeguard our cultural heritage.

ARGUS is proud to be standing on the shoulders of esteemed European partners, spanning from academia to private sector, creative industries and stakeholders/conservation agencies.  The consortium is coordinated by the Athena Research Centre, and includes the Cyprus University of Technology, the EURECAT Centre Technologic de Catalunya, the University of Cyprus, the Università degli studi Roma Tre, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, CORE Innovation Centre, WorldSensing, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades, KNEIA S.L. and The Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale” (CCR) Foundation. ARGUS builds on strong cross-disciplinary collaboration among participants with high profile in their discipline and a long experience in cooperative work. The project brings together Social Sciences and Humanities, Engineering, and Natural Sciences.

Source: Cyprus University of Technology | News (