Times of Malta, 12th November 2008

A high-definition 3D digital model of the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is to be created as part of a study on preserving this Unesco World Heritage Site.

Heritage Malta is carrying out the study, which it said would serve as an interpretative and analytical tool to identify and address threats through an innovative and long-term approach.

The study is being funded by the EEA Norwegian Financial Mechanisms.

The 3D model of the site will record its features in high detail and extensive monitoring will be carried out to pinpoint problems and find out how the site is coping with seasonal changes.

The information gathered will help in fine-tuning the air-handling system to provide the best conditions for the site’s preservation. The data collated will contribute to a conservation plan for the site.

Heritage Malta has issued a call for tenders for the 3D documentation and will soon issue another for the environmental-monitoring equipment supply, installation and commissioning.

The project will be launched next year.

The Hypogeum was first opened to the public in 1908. By 1910 concerns were being expressed regarding the infiltration of water within the site.

Between 1990 and 2000 a conservation programme was undertaken in collaboration with Unesco. This included identifying the main causes of deterioration and installing an air-handling system to control environmental conditions, together with the management of visitors to ensure minimal impact on the site.