Biodeterioration of cultural monuments in the Republic of Macedonia

IRG/WP 08-10640

I Irbe, M Karadelev, I Andersone, B Andersons

Research on the biodeterioration of the cultural heritage in the Republic of Macedonia was conducted from 2004 to 2006, one month per year. The expertise was focused on the biodeterioration caused by wood-inhabiting fungi and moulds. A total of 38 cultural monuments, including 37 monasteries and churches and one fortress, were inspected in the areas of the towns of Skopje, Ohrid, Demir Hisar, Debar, Strumica, Stip, Kicevo, Kriva Palanka, Kumanovo, Prilep, Struga, the region of the Lake Prespa, the Mariovo area and Kratovo. Most of the monasteries are under state protection. 15 of the inspected monuments had fungal damage. 32 macromycetes and micromycetes were identified on the constructive and decorative materials of the monuments. Wood-inhabiting fungi were found both on the indoor wood (bathroom, ceiling, stairs, roof inner portions) and external woodwork (gateway, bridge, outer door, roofs, stairs). Decay fungi dominated in the roof constructions of the inspected buildings. The majority of the identified Basidiomycetes in Macedonian cultural heritage sites belonged to white-rotters (81%), and the remaining 19% to brown-rotters. In several cases, mould contamination was noted on wall paintings, mainly Cladosporium sp., Aspergillus sp., and Fusarium sp. Fresh fungal damages found in monasteries and churches are dangerous for wood constructions and frescoes, and they must be eliminated.

Keywords: biodeterioration, cultural heritage, wood-decay fungi, moulds, Republic of Macedonia

Conference: 08-05-25/29, Istanbul, Turkey

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