Exploring the indoor environment of heritage buildings and its role in the conservation of valuable objects

Dorina Camelia Ilies1, Aurelia Onet2, Herman Grigore1, Indrie Liliana3, Ilies Alexandru1, Burta Ligia4, Gaceu Ovidiu1, Marcu Florin4, Baias Stefan1, Caciora Tudor1, Marcu Ana Patricia5, Oana Ioan Pavel3, Costea Monica2, Ilies Marin6, Wendt Jan7, Mihincau Dana1

1 Faculty of Geography, Tourism and Sport, University of Oradea, 1st University Street, Oradea, 410087, Romania
2 Faculty of Environmental Protection, University of Oradea, 26th Gen. Magheru Street, Oradea, 410048, Romania
3 Faculty of Energy Engineering and Industrial Management, University of Oradea, 1st University Street, Oradea, 410087, Romania
4 Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Oradea, 10th Pia.a 1 Decembrie Street, Oradea, 410068, Romania
5 Faculty of Arts, University of Oradea, 1st University Street, Oradea, 410087, Romania
6 University Babes Bolyai Cluj Napoca, Extension Sighetu Marmatiei, Faculty of Geography, 6th Avram Iancu Street, Sighetu Marmatiei, 435500, Romania
7 Faculty of Oceanography and Geography, University of Gdansk, 4th Bazynskiego Street; 80-952 Gdansk, Poland


This study is an attempt to monitor the indoor microclimate and the microbiological contamination of some indoor objects inside a wooden Orthodox church. Standard microbiological techniques were used for the isolation and identification of the fungi present in the dust of the superficial surface of the paintings chosen to be investigated for biodeterioration. Samples were taken from approximately 1 cm2 of the surface of the analysed paintings (cotton canvas, wood, on primer) using the cotton swab method. The cultures of fungus isolated from the studied paintings were identified based on their morphological and microbiological characteristics. The identity of isolates was established, based on the smear microscopic examination, using the lactophenol blue cotton staining procedure. Based on the morphological characteristics of conidiophores, the following fungal genera were determined to be present in the dust of the studied paintings: Streptomyces sp., Arthrographis sp., Beauveria sp., Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., Alternaria sp., Cladosporium sp., and Streptomyces sp. The current state of paintings, influenced in time by temperature, humidity, brightness, microbial contamination, and other factors, was investigated and mapped. The detailed analysis contributes to the conservation stage of the historic monument investigation, enhancing the existing data in the environments destined for the conservation of valuable objects. The continuous monitoring of the indoor microclimate, together with the maintaining of good hygiene, cleaning conditions and proper ventilation, could successfully contribute to the slowing down of painting degradation within the wooden church monument.


historic wooden church; contamination; microclimate; painting

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