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Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760

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Engineering Failure Analysis

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Earthquake damages to cultural heritage constructions

and simplied assessment of artworks
Fulvio Parisi , Nicola Augenti
Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, via Claudio 21, 80125 Naples, Italy

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Available online 30 January 2013
Earthquake damage
Cultural heritage
Historic masonry constructions
Performance-based seismic assessment

a b s t r a c t
Recent high-intensity earthquakes, such as those occurred in LAquila (2009), Christchurch
(20102011) and Emilia Romagna (2012), have caused not only a signicant death toll and
huge economic losses, but also heavy damage to the worldwide cultural heritage. In this
paper, earthquake damage to monumental constructions is discussed and the following
critical issues affecting the seismic response of historic masonry structures are identied:
masonry quality; connections among structural elements; diaphragm exibility; out-ofplane resistance of masonry walls; structural irregularities; wrong retrot interventions;
and earthquake ground motion characteristics. As damage to artworks has induced invaluable losses from a social, cultural and economic standpoint, a simplied performancebased assessment procedure is proposed on the basis of Italian guidelines for seismic risk
mitigation of cultural heritage, in order to support the interpretation of observed damage.
This procedure could be used for small-to-medium size artworks such as museum contents, historic archives and libraries, and archaeological elements.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Cultural heritage is seriously threatened by the increase in magnitude and frequency of natural disasters over time. The
World Bank has reported that the number of natural disasters worldwide has been rapidly raising [1]. From 1975 to 2005, the
amount of disasters has increased by about 400% and the annual number of affected people has nearly quadrupled, also
depending on the rise in the population and urbanisation. As a result, even small-scale (and hence frequent) natural events
can nowadays produce catastrophic consequences. Although the number of seismic events and the relevant mean annual
death toll (approximately 21,800) has been quite stable over the period 19002011 [2], the enormous earthquake losses occurred in recent years (producing a total of 3.14 trillion USD) has highlighted the present-day high fragility level of existing
structures and infrastructures, as well as a low disaster resilience of many countries. Prevention is clearly the most effective
way to mitigate risk, but also post-earthquake scenarios should be considered with more attention in order to reduce indirect socio-economic losses. To this aim, on one hand the built environment vulnerability should be reduced and on the other
hand the community preparedness should be increased. This would lead to minimise recovery time, that is, the period necessary to restore the functionality of an engineering system to a target level after a natural or man-made event [3], resulting
in higher disaster resilience.
Ensuring resilience in regions with a lot of cultural heritage constructions is a very complex task, because also strongly
damaged monumental buildings are to be preserved and reconstructed by restoring their original identity for the community. Italy, which has the greatest number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the world (47 places), is facing such a problem

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 081 7683659; fax: +39 081 7685921.
E-mail addresses: (F. Parisi), (N. Augenti).
1350-6307/$ - see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760

because it has suffered a cruel toll in terms of earthquake damage to the cultural heritage, especially in the last decades. In
fact, in the period 19002011 most of the earthquake losses have occurred in the following countries: Japan (1003 trillion
USD), United States of America (271 billion USD), China (210 billion USD), Italy (132 billion USD), and Chile (109 billion USD)
[4]. It is also noteworthy that the occurrence of 1996 damaging earthquakes in the same time interval has produced heavy
damage to masonry constructions, resulting in approximately 58% of the total amount of casualties (20% in stone/brick masonry structures and 38% in mud, adobe, earthen and rubble masonry structures). Such statistics certainly give more emphasis to the seismic fragility of masonry constructions, which is also conrmed for cultural heritage.
A reliable risk mitigation of cultural heritage sites calls for: (1) risk assessment methodologies to be applied at different
scales, from single buildings to building classes and entire historic centres and (2) specic retrot solutions able to balance
life safety with authenticity conservation and earthquake protection of constructions. In this challenge, protection measures
for movable cultural properties are a must, as discussed in the frame of the International Council on Monuments and Sites
(ICOMOS) [5]. Even though movable properties can be brought to safety more easily than constructions, few attention has
been paid to the seismic protection and insurance of important monumental goods, such as archives, sculptures and
This paper presents ndings of recent post-earthquake reconnaissance activities where relevant losses to the cultural heritage have been detected. Emphasis is given to masonry constructions. Critical issues emerging from this catastrophic events
are identied for a unied discussion. Given that damage to non-structural monumental goods is recognised to be an emerging issue, a simplied performance-based assessment (PBA) procedure is discussed for its possible application to small-tomedium size artworks, according to current guidelines and codes.
2. Earthquake damages to cultural heritage constructions in Italy
Italy is one of the Mediterranean countries with the highest seismic risk level, as it is located at the convergence of the
African and Eurasian plates. Earthquake clusters frequently take place in Italy as a result of a complex seismogenic structure
composed of many faults, which interact each other causing a gradual release of energy over time. This causes a number of
mainshocks, each followed by many aftershocks. It is noted that an earthquake cluster is different from an earthquake sequence, because the latter includes a single large earthquake which is preceded and followed by smaller earthquakes (i.e.,
foreshocks and aftershocks respectively).
2.1. The 19971998 UmbriaMarche earthquakes
From May 1997 to April 1998 an earthquake cluster including thousands of tremors hit a wide area of the Umbria and
Marche regions (central Italy), including 48 municipalities and causing heavy damage to cultural heritage sites, 11 dead
and approximately 100 injured [6,7]. The rst two mainshocks with moment magnitude Mw equal to 5.7 and 6.0 occurred
on September 26, 1997 (00:33:12 and 09:40:26 UTC) in Foligno, Umbria region. Such mainshocks were followed by thousands of aftershocks and 8 main events with Mw > 5.0. Macroseismic MercalliCancaniSieberg (MCS) intensity IS was found
to be between 8 and 9. In addition to the famous San Francesco church complex in Assisi, whose upper basilica lost some
frescoed masonry vaults (with total area of approximately 130 m2) causing four victims (Fig. 1), many other historic constructions were heavily damaged, including the bell tower of the Cathedral of Foligno and a historic tower in Nocera Umbra.
In the Umbria region, 2316 monumental buildings (including more than 1500 churches) were damaged; 945 of them were
found to be unt for use. UmbriaMarche earthquakes also damaged 3150 movable artworks which have been restored in

Fig. 1. Cross vault of the upper basilica of San Francesco church complex in Assisi, Italy, collapsed in 1997.

F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760


the last years. The long series of tremors which struck the Umbria and Marche regions highlighted the key role of cumulative
damage to existing masonry constructions, which is more likely to cause collapse of cultural heritage structures. This critical
issue was conrmed by the 2009 LAquila, central Italy, earthquake sequence and 2012 Emilia Romagna, northern Italy,
2.2. The 2009 LAquila earthquake sequence
The 2009 LAquila earthquake sequence was a dramatic event because it occurred below a main historic town with high
cultural value and about 75,000 inhabitants. This produced the most destructive scenario in Italy after the Mw 6.9 Irpinia
earthquake, which occurred on November 23, 1980 causing 2914 casualties. The LAquila earthquake sequence began with
low-intensity tremors from January to March 2009 and culminated with a Mw 6.3 mainshock on April 6, 2009 (01:32:39
UTC). The mainshock was followed by over 4000 aftershocks in the next 3 weeks. Two seismic events with Mw equal to
5.6 and 5.4 occurred on April 7, 2009 (17:47:37 UTC) and April 9, 2009 (00:52:59 UTC). That couple of events was attributed
to distinct fault segments which were triggered by the April 6 event [8].
The LAquila earthquake sequence caused 308 deaths (most of whom in the LAquilas historic centre and the municipalities of Onna and Villa SantAngelo), more than 1600 injured and severe damage to 16 municipalities. Macroseismic intensity
was found to be IS = 910 MCS in 6 municipalities to the southeast of LAquila (including Castelnuovo, Onna and Paganica),
while it reached the minimum value IS = 6 MCS in Tussio and Monticchio which are located to the northwest of LAquila. The
occurrence of so many tremors made post-earthquake damage assessment a very complex task, reducing or even vanishing
the safety level during remedial intervention works on historic buildings and monumental constructions. Over 80,000 buildings were inspected and 30.6% of them (including 36.8% of masonry structures) were found to be unt for use. Panels of experts checked almost 1800 monumental constructions: 55.1% of them were strongly damaged or collapsed, while only 23%
was found to be safe for immediate occupancy; 760 of approximately 1000 churches required urgent safety interventions by
re brigades [9]. By April 6, 2012, 3.55 billion USD were employed for emergency operations, 2.40 billion USD were transferred to local public administrations for reconstruction, 62% of building ruins were still to be removed, and 6.94 billion USD
funded by the Italian government were still to be employed. Therefore, the total cost for reconstruction after the LAquila
earthquake sequence was estimated in about 12.89 billion USD.
From a structural standpoint, some critical issues emerged from the LAquila earthquake sequence. First of all, engineering
structures located close to a seismic source call for a specic modelling of earthquake actions because the following neareld effects can occur: (1) higher values of peak ground acceleration (PGA) and peak ground displacement (PGD), whose
maximum values recorded near LAquila were respectively 0.68g and 10 cm; (2) a ratio between vertical and horizontal geometric mean of PGA greater than unity [1012], which conversely falls in the range [0.25, 0.75] at far-eld distances; (3) almost the same horizontal components of seismic actions, which neutralise common combination rules provided by codes
and can produce unusual failure modes in masonry buildings because of simultaneous in-plane and out-of-plane seismic
excitations [13]; and (4) elastic and inelastic demands stronger than those associated with ordinary records, as a result of
rupture forward directivity, that is, the presence of large velocity pulses and energy concentration at the beginning of the
fault-normal components of near-eld records (see, e.g., [14]). Therefore, a full 3D seismic analysis of masonry structures
should be performed without separating the in-plane and out-of-plane response of masonry walls, and a design spectrum
with two components of different amplitude associated with the maximum and minimum directions of ground motion could
be used instead of a typical single-component spectrum [15].
Second, research needs were identied for seismic assessment and retrot of building aggregates, which were seriously
damaged or totally destroyed during the LAquila earthquake sequence (Fig. 2) [13,16]. In many cases, out-of-plane failure
modes of load-bearing masonry walls were facilitated by the past replacement of original wooden roofs with stiff and heavy
reinforced concrete (RC) slabs. The lately issued Italian building code (IBC) [17] and its commentary [18] clearly state that
this type of intervention should be avoided. Unfortunately, this was the case of the Church of Santa Maria di Paganica, LAquila, which was built up in the 14th century (see Table 1). Some historic buildings were made of rubble stone masonry with
lime mortar, where the external leaf was badly connected to the inner core; in those cases, masonry walls did not behave as
monolithic elements and lost their integrity, resulting in premature collapse (Fig. 3a and b). This pointed out the crucial role
of masonry quality in the seismic behaviour of historic masonry constructions (Figs. 4 and 5). Unusual in-plane crack patterns of masonry walls with irregular layout of openings were observed (Fig. 6), conrming that different modelling assumptions should be made to predict the nonlinear seismic response of those masonry walls [19]. The presence of arcades at the
ground oor and poor connections at building corners favoured the onset of both partial and global out-of-plane mechanisms. The latter were the most frequent collapse mode of church faades, while typical crack patterns and collapse modes
were observed for bell towers. Out-of-plane collapse mechanisms were often inhibited by timber or steel ties inserted after
past destructive earthquakes in that area (e.g., the 1703 earthquake), when material degradation did not take place in ties
and the masonry was able to resist local forces at the end anchoring plates. This activated the in-plane resistance of masonry
walls, resulting in a global box-type behaviour of buildings. A satisfactory global seismic performance of existing buildings
can also be obtained by reinforced masonry stringcourses or small RC bond beams.
The great amount of artworks within buildings located close to LAquila gave importance to the seismic assessment of
movable cultural heritage goods and frescoes, which has recently been included in Italian guidelines (see Section 4).
Fig. 7a and b shows a passing-through diagonal crack which propagated to the inner fresco of a masonry wall. The Spanish


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Fig. 2. Building aggregate devastated by the 2009 LAquila earthquake sequence.

Table 1
Damage to cultural heritage buildings caused by the 2009 LAquila, Italy, earthquake.

Type of damage



Church of Santa Maria di

Paganica (LAquila)

 Collapse of the triumphal arch, dome, pitched roof of the

central nave, left aisle, and bell tower
 Loss of masonry integrity

 The original wooden roof was wrongly

replaced with a stiff and heavy RC slab
 Rubble masonry had a poor quality

Church of Santa Maria


 In-plane damage to the main faade

The poor quality of rubble masonry caused the

ejection of external masonry leaves

 Precious paintings close to the main faade

were spared by the earthquake
 Artworks were not seismically protected


 Loss of masonry integrity

Spanish Fortress

 In-plane and out-of-plane collapse of walls and early

out-of-plane mechanism of the inner arcade
 Damage to sculptures as a result of overturning and
sliding over their basements
 Heavy damage to a polychrome terracotta sculpture
named Madonna in trono (1542)
 Collapse of another polychrome terracotta sculpture
named SantAntonio Abate(16th century)

Fortress, which was built in LAquila between 1534 and 1541, was heavily damaged during the 2009 earthquake sequence, as
summarised in Table 1 and shown in Figs. 810. Given that the National Museum of Abruzzo was located in more than 40
rooms of the Fortress, many paintings and sculptures were signicantly damaged.

2.3. The 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes

An earthquake cluster struck the Emilia Romagna region (northern Italy) from May 16 to June 26, 2012. It was a series of
seismic events which included seven earthquakes with Mw P 5.0. Each seismic event was followed by hundreds or even
thousands of aftershocks. Two mainshocks took place on May 20, 2012 (02:03:52 UTC) and May 29, 2012 (07:00:03 UTC),
resulting in 7 and 19 casualties, respectively, a total of 350 injured, approximately 14,000 homeless people, and heavy damage to industrial and historic buildings. Those mainshocks had the same Richter magnitude of the 2009 LAquila mainshock
(i.e., ML 5.9), but lower moment magnitudes highlighting a lower energy release in Emilia Romagna. Actually, the Emilia
Romagna mainshocks had a moment magnitude equal to 6.0 and 5.8 (estimates by United States Geological Survey): the former had a seismic intensity equal to that of the 1997 UmbriaMarche mainshock. It is emphasised that the LAquila mainshock was about 12 times stronger than UmbriaMarche and Emilia Romagna mainshocks.
The May 20 earthquake had a hypocentre close to Mirandola (44.89N, 11.23E), approximately 30 km west of Ferrara and
40 km northeast of Modena. Detailed information on that earthquake can be found in [20]. Horizontal and vertical PGA values recorded at Mirandola (epicentral distance of 13 km) were 0.26g and 0.31g, respectively. Shake maps provided by the
Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) evidenced PGA values up to 0.28g and 0.35g close to the epicentre
for the May 20 and 29 events, respectively [21]. A maximum macroseismic intensity IS = 7 MCS was assigned to the

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Fig. 3. Loss of external masonry leaves (a) beside and (b) below a window opening.

Fig. 4. Rubble masonry wall section of the Church of Santa Maria di Paganica in LAquila, Italy.

municipalities of Mirandola and San Felice sul Panaro, while macroseismic intensities between 6 and 7 MCS were found at
Finale Emilia and adjacent municipalities [22].
The May 29 earthquake took place between Mirandola and Cavezzo (44.85N, 11.09E), that is, 15 km northwest of the
epicentre of the May 20 event. That earthquake caused further damage to the built environment and the extension of the
affected area to the east side of the Modena province. Damage accumulation induced a macroseismic intensity increase between 1 and 2 MCS, resulting in: IS = 67 MCS at Reggiolo; IS = 7 MCS at Moglia, Novi di Modena and Concordia sulla Secchia;
IS = 78 MCS at Rovereto, a fraction of Novi di Modena. Fire brigades carried out approximately 63,000 quick usability inspections until July 27, 2012. Teams of experts from several universities, regional institutions and professional associations performed 39,899 usability inspections through DPC forms. By August 2, 2012, such inspections provided the following statistics


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Fig. 5. Main faade of the Church of Santa Maria in Paganica, Italy.

Fig. 6. Crack pattern of irregular wall with openings.

on buildings located in the affected localities: 36% t for use; 17.3% temporary unt for use; 4.5% partially t for use; 0.6%
temporary unt for use and to be inspected again; 35.5% unt for use; 5.5% unt for use due to external risk. It is noteworthy
that macroseismic surveys conrmed that Emilia Romagna earthquakes were weaker than the April 6, 2009 LAquila earthquake. Even if cumulative damage to structures was taken into account, IS did not exceed 78 MCS in the case of the Emilia
Romagna earthquakes whereas it reached 910 MCS during LAquila earthquake sequence. Given that the Po valley is made
of soft alluvial soils, most of the seismic energy released by the Emilia Romagna earthquakes concentrated in the low frequency range, resulting in large displacement demands up to 1521 cm on high-period structures (fundamental vibration
period greater than 1 s), such as industrial buildings, churches, bell and clock towers. (Note that 147 bell and civic towers
were found to be damaged.) Furthermore, the presence of alternated ne sand and clay layers in the soil caused liquefaction
phenomena and the formation of sand volcanoes in a number of municipalities. Soil liquefaction at San Carlo, a fraction of
SantAgostino, caused surface fractures with maximum width equal to 1.05 m and vertical relative displacement up to
1.90 m. Liquefaction-induced differential settlements and lateral spreading of ground were a common source of collapse
for many modern residential buildings.

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Fig. 7. Passing-through diagonal crack in frescoed masonry wall: (a) external view and (b) internal view.

Fig. 8. Heavy damage to the Spanish Fortress of LAquila, Italy: (a) total collapse of inner wall and (b) early collapse of inner wall due to out-of-plane
mechanism of orthogonal wall.

The 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes were the rst events in Italy which caused signicant economic losses as a result
of damage to an important industrial district and subsequent business interruption. Until 2012, the local population did not
perceive to be at risk for earthquakes because the affected area was included in the national list of seismic zones in 2003 and
IBC [17] became mandatory for ordinary structures on July 1, 2009. As a consequence, the majority of existing structures in
the affected area were designed for gravity loads only. Nevertheless, the Emilia Romagna earthquakes conrmed a high vulnerability level of the Italian cultural heritage. The May 20 event had a moderate impact on the following world heritage
properties: the municipalities of Mantua and Sabbioneta, which were inscribed on the World Heritage List (WHL) in 2008
as exceptional Italian Renaissance testimonies; the Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande at Modena, which were inscribed on WHL in 1997 as supreme example of early Romanesque art; and Ferrara, which was inscribed on WHL in 1995
as outstanding example of planned Renaissance city with intact urban fabric. On the contrary, the May 29 earthquake
had a dramatic impact on cultural heritage. By August 31, 2012, 3172 cultural heritage goods and systems were inspected
and 1294 of them were found to be damaged. Based on a data inference by the Emilia Romagna Regional Ofce of Cultural
Heritage and Landscape, the total amount of damaged goods will be approximately 2500. DPC estimated an economic loss
equal to 13.2 billion Euros (i.e., 17.1 billion USD). Damage to historic constructions conrmed the higher vulnerability of
some structural systems and components, as outlined in Tables 24 and Figs. 1123.


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Fig. 9. Precious paintings spared by the 2009 LAquila mainshock.

Fig. 10. Partial or total collapse of precious sculptures located in the Spanish Fortress of LAquila, Italy: (a) Madonna in trono and (b) SantAntonio Abate.

3. Cultural heritage losses due to earthquakes occurred outside Italy

This section summarises the main ndings of post-earthquake assessment of cultural heritage losses induced by recent
destructive earthquakes outside Italy. The scope is to emphasise similarities and differences in terms of earthquake effects.


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Table 2
Damage to churches caused by the 2012 Emilia-Romagna, Italy, earthquakes.

Type of damage



Church of Novi di

 Out-of-plane collapse of the tympanum

 Collapse of the gable of the bell tower

The tympanum was not connected to the wooden roof


Church of

 Activation of out-of-plane mechanism of the main

 Sculpture tilted at roof level

 The out-of-plane collapse was well inhibited by

longitudinal walls, which sustained diagonal cracks
 Signicant shear cracks were observed on the bell tower
(375 m high)
 Slender architectural elements with poor or lacking
connection to the structure often tilted or slipped off their


Church of San Martino

in Buonacompra

Collapse of a lateral wall, the main faade, the apse

and the pitched roof

Load-bearing walls were made of three-leaf clay brick

masonry with good-quality mortar joints, but they were
not effectively interlocked


Cathedral of San Paolo


 Out-of-plane collapse of the tympanum of the main

faade, resulting in the collapse of the vault covering
the rst bay of the central nave
 Collapse of transept and apse

 The church suffered the highest damage level of the

affected area


Colleggiata di Santa
Maria Maggiore
(Pieve di Cento)

 Partial collapse of the dome

 Cracks at the top of the bell tower, on the main
faade and other walls
 Heavy damage to artworks

 This is the oldest church in the affected area (apse, 2nd

half of the 14th century; 48 m high bell tower, 1487; rest
of the building, 17021710; bells, 1809)


Cathedral of Santa
Maria Maggiore

 May 20 earthquake: Cracks in the bell tower and

loss of the upper left spire of the main faade
 May 29 earthquake: Out-of-plane collapse of the
tympanum; collapse of the upper right spire; large
diagonal cracking of the bell tower

 The church was built between 1449 and the 19th

 The church suffered cumulative damage during the May
20 and 29 earthquakes
 The out-of-plane collapse of the tympanum occurred
after the yielding of iron ties which connected the main
faade to orthogonal walls


Cathedral of Santi
Filippo e Giacomo
Apostoli (Finale

Signicant damage including the out-of-plane

collapse of the tympanum

 The church was built between the 15th and 18th



 A 56 m high bell tower located to the left side of the

main faade was not seriously damaged

Table 3
Damage to castles and civic towers caused by the 2012 Emilia-Romagna, Italy, earthquakes.

Type of damage



Estense Fortress
(Finale Emilia)

 Damage concentrated to the northwest side of the castle,

involving the internal cloister vault and the main tower
 Partial collapse of the left tower of the southwest faade

 The castle was built between 1402 and 1430, and

restored between 2006 and 2011
 The main tower had been strengthened with two
steel ring ties in the past


Modenesi Tower
(Finale Emilia)

Partial collapse during the May 20 mainshock (04:03 UTC)

and total disruption during the ML 5.1 May 20 aftershock
(15:18 UTC)

 This was a four-storey clock tower built in 1212 and

reconstructed in the 15th century


Estense Fortress
(San Felice sul

 Large and extensive diagonal cracks in the main tower

 Partial collapse of all four secondary towers at the roof

 This is the most important monument of the

municipality; it was built in 1340 and refurbished in
the 15th century


3.1. The 2010 Haiti earthquake

On January 12, 2010 (21:53:10 UTC) a Mw 7.0 earthquake occurred at 18.44N, 72.57W, approximately 25 km southwest
of Port-au-Prince (capital city of the Republic of Haiti). The epicentre was localised close to Logne, where 8090% of buildings were critically damaged or destroyed. Many government and public buildings, including the Palace of Justice (built in
1927), the Palace of Finances (1880), the Palace of Ministries (1881), the City Hall (19251928), the National Assembly, the
Supreme Court and the Notre Dame Cathedral at Port-au-Prince (1912), were severely damaged. The National Palace, which
was built in 1922, totally collapsed (Fig. 24). The Government of Haiti estimated 316,000 dead and missing, 300,000 injured,
and over 1.3 million homeless [23]. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in modern history and caused an economic loss
equal to 7.8 billion USD. Even though the 2010 Haiti earthquake was the most costly earthquake in terms of percentage of
gross domestic product (GDP), namely, 120%, it is emphasised that the total economic loss did not exceed that caused by the


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Table 4
Damage to historic buildings caused by the 2012 Emilia-Romagna, Italy, earthquakes.

Type of damage



Town hall (SantAgostino)

 May 20 earthquake: In-plane diagonal cracks in

both east and west side faades with openings; outof-plane mechanism of the main (north) faade with
arcades at the ground oor; out-of-plane partial
collapse of the west faade; collapse of an
intermediate column at the ground oor and large
residual drift of the other columns (as a result of the
out-of-plane mechanism of the main faade)
 May 29 earthquake: Collapse of a pre-damaged pier
at the rst oor level of the west faade

 The low out-of-plane resistance can be attributed

to the presence of the portico (creating a soft storey)
in the case of the main faade and the small wall
thickness compared to the interstorey height in the
case of the west faade


Town hall (Finale Emilia)

 May 20 earthquake: Heavy damage to the gable of

the bell-clock tower, as a result of the collapse of
supporting column
 May 29 earthquake: Total collapse of the gable

The collapse of the column supporting the gable was

probably caused by masonry crushing under
compressive overloading


Residential building

Unusual shear cracks in irregular masonry wall with


The different number of openings per storey and

opening offsets produced crack patterns consistent
with seismic action reversals and structural models


 The hall to the west side of the building produced a

doubled interstorey height of the west faade wall
 The south faade suffered minor damage
 Retrot interventions should have been too
expensive, so the building was demolished

Fig. 11. Church of Novi di Modena, Italy, with tympanum collapsed under out-of-plane excitations.

Fig. 12. Sculpture tilted on the roof of the Church of SantAgostino, Italy.

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Fig. 13. Church of San Martino in SantAgostino, Italy: (a) global view and (b) detailed view of false vault and timber roof.

Fig. 14. Cathedral of San Paolo in Mirabello, Italy after the May 20, 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquake.

2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes. In the case of Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, most of damaged and collapsed buildings
were not designed for earthquake resistance. Conversely, the majority of earthquake-resistant buildings did not collapse.
According to Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics, the building stock in urban areas was mainly composed of single-storey dwellings (78%), while the remaining part consisted of multi-storey houses or apartment buildings (14%) and traditional constructions. Whilst buildings in Port-au-Prince downtown had a RC framed structure, Gingerbread houses [24]
made of unreinforced masonry (URM) load-bearing walls, masonry inlled timber frames, or wood frames were located outside downtown. Detailed reports on observed damages can be found in [25,26]. URM load-bearing walls with irregular layout
of openings suffered damage patterns similar to those observed after recent earthquakes, conrming simplied rules for
their capacity modelling [19]. This was, for instance, the case of a medical apartment building. In addition, a lot of damage
was also due to poor quality materials, as detected in the case of building aggregates located in LAquila, central Italy, and
rural buildings located in Emilia Romagna, northern Italy. The 2010 Haiti earthquake demonstrated that conned masonry
buildings where masonry inlls were constructed before RC columns and beams can perform signicantly better than those
constructed with other techniques.

3.2. The 2010 Chile earthquake

On February 27, 2010 (06:34:14 UTC) a Mw 8.8 earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile (epicentre at 35.91S,
72.73W). The maximum recorded PGA was 0.65g at the town of Concepcin. It was the sixth largest earthquake ever to


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Fig. 15. Colleggiata di Santa Maria Maggiore in Pieve di Cento, Italy: (a) main faade before the 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes; (b) detailed view of bell
tower; (c) collapsed dome; (d) damaged statue named Madonna and Child (1761); and (e) and (f) internal views after earthquakes.

be recorded by a seismograph and caused 525 dead, 25 missing, and a total economic loss approximately equal to 30 billion
USD. The Chile earthquake and the subsequent tsunami not only destroyed about 370,000 homes, but it also caused severe

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Fig. 16. Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore in Mirandola, Italy: (a) before the 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes; (b) after the May 20 earthquake; (c) after
the May 29 earthquake; and (d) large diagonal cracks in the bell tower.

damage to monuments, museums, theatres, churches, parks and heritage zones [27]. Macroseismic surveys showed a maximum Modied Mercalli (MM) intensity equal to 9 in Concepcin, but the earthquake caused IS = 78 MM in Santiago, the
capital city. It is noted that 1 MCS is approximately equal to 1.2 MM. The National Monuments Council identied 241 damaged sites and 30 heritage zones; all damaged cultural heritage constructions were adobe buildings, especially in the southcentral regions of Maule, OHiggins and Biobio.
3.3. The 20102011 Canterbury earthquakes
On September 3, 2010 (16:35:46 UTC) a Mw 7.1 earthquake struck the Canterbury region, New Zealand, close to Dareld
(43.55S, 172.18E), a town located 40 km west of the central business district (CBD) of Christchurch. It is emphasised that
Christchurch is the largest town in New Zealands South Island located on a wide alluvial plain beside two rivers and is
important for its architectural heritage, including a large stock of Gothic revival stone buildings. Although that earthquake
event did not cause victims, the overall economic loss was 6.5 billion USD [28]. Extensive damage to many URM buildings
and important heritage buildings was found, making the so called Dareld earthquake the largest natural disaster in New
Zealand since 1931 [29]. The maximum recorded PGA reached 0.82g for the horizontal components and 1.26g for the vertical
component [30], whereas macroseismic intensity reached 8 MM in most of Canterbury. In many cases, out-of-plane failure of
gables, walls and parapets was observed, mainly because connections between roofs and walls were ineffective or lacking.
Some failed walls were made of multi-leaf masonry, which is more vulnerable to out-of-plane earthquake excitations if
transverse connections between masonry leaves do not provide a monolithic behaviour to the masonry assemblage. Anchorages of steel ties between roofs and walls avoided out-of-plane collapses, resulting in local failure of surrounding masonry or


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Fig. 17. Main faade of the Cathedral of Santi Filippo e Giacomo Apostoli in Finale Emilia, Italy, after the May 20, 2012, Emilia Romagna earthquake.

Fig. 18. Estense Fortress in Finale Emilia, Italy: (a) main faade before the 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes; (b) northwest side after collapse; and (c)
partial damage to the left tower of the southwest faade.

anchor yielding. Wall separation at building corners was also observed in case of ineffective/poor masonry interlocking between orthogonal walls.
As of August 7, 2012, more than 11,000 aftershocks with Mw P 2.0 have been recorded, including 26 magnitude peaks
over 5.0 and 2 magnitude peaks over 6.0, which have caused further damage to the built heritage. The strongest seismic
events occurred on February 21, 2011 (23:51:42 UTC) at 43.58S, 172.74E, and June 13, 2011 (02:20:50 UTC) at 43.58S,
172.68E. The February 2011 event was a Mw 6.3 earthquake which occurred 2 km west of Lyttelton and 10 km southeast
of Christchurch CBD, causing 181 fatalities, 2164 injuries, and an overall economic loss estimated in about 20 billion USD

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Fig. 19. Modenesi Tower of Finale Emilia, Italy: (a) before the 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquakes; (b) after the May 20 mainshock; and (c) following the ML
5.1 May 20 aftershock.

[28]. The June 2011 event was a Mw 6.3 earthquake which occurred about 10 km from Christchurch. It is worth noting that
PGA values recorded during the February 2011 earthquake were found to be greater than those recorded during the September 2010 earthquake, even if the latter released more energy (i.e., higher moment magnitude). Furthermore, during the February 2011 earthquake all buildings were damaged and their damage level increased as a result of aftershocks and the June
2011 earthquake. Such earthquakes also induced signicant ground deformations due to liquefaction in suburbs and lateral
spreading close to rivers, resulting in additional damage to buildings. In-plane damage to northern and southern walls of
buildings located in Christchurch CBD and out-of-plane damage to eastern and western walls indicated earthquake directivity effects. As a consequence of out-of-plane wall mechanisms associated with one- or two-way bending, many two-storey
buildings lost their entire faades or upper storey walls [31]. Flexible roof/oor diaphragms signicantly contributed to induce out-of-plane failures. Gothic revival historic buildings, which were composed of peripheral unreinforced stone masonry
walls, internal frames (made of cast iron or steel columns and timber beams) or masonry walls, timber oor diaphragms, and
timber roof trusses, suffered out-of-plane mechanisms and hence partial or total collapse. A post-earthquake reconnaissance
activity by Leite et al. [30] included a damage inspection to 112 churches built before 1938. In the Canterbury region, 52% of
stone masonry churches (28% of the total church heritage) suffered heavy damage or total collapse; this percentage reduced
to 38% in the case of clay brick masonry churches (18% of the total church heritage). Nonetheless, if moderate and heavy
damage to churches is considered, almost the same percentages (about 80%) were obtained for stone and clay brick masonry
churches. On the contrary, 94% of timber churches were found to be safe. As concerns URM churches, low gravity loads facilitated out-of-plane collapse of gables due to the hammering of roofs, and geometric irregularities in plan and height induced
damage concentrations. In-plane shear damage to longitudinal walls was frequently observed as well. The presence of soft
limestones and red tuff stones with low-strength lime mortar also caused poor seismic response of URM historic buildings
and churches, conrming the key role of material quality evidenced by other earthquakes. Architectural elements with higher seismic vulnerability, such as domes, vaults, and bell towers, were rarely found in churches. In fact, a typical church in the
Canterbury region has a single nave, portico, presbytery and apse, without chapels, columns, vaults or domes. A detailed statistics of failure mechanisms in churches can be found in [30], whereas damage to three relevant cultural heritage constructions is outlined in Table 5 and Figs. 2527. The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (also called Christchurch Basilica), which
is located in the Christchurch CBD, partially collapsed during the earthquakes [32]. Whether the Basilica is to be restored or
demolished is yet to be decided, because full restoration of the Basilica would cost more than 100 million USD and the construction of a new Basilica would cost 40 million USD. The Provincial Chambers of Christchurch were seriously damaged by
the February 2011 earthquake, showing the superior seismic response of timber structures versus stone masonry structures.
The Chambers are sets of buildings which were sequentially constructed since 1858. The rst set of building units formed a
two-storey timber building with L-shaped plan, the Timber Chamber. That building was extended to the north, forming a
courtyard with existing buildings. The last set of building units was built between 1864 and 1865 resulting in the Stone
Chamber, which was the new Council room.
3.4. The 2011 Great East Japan earthquake
On March 11, 2011 (05:46:24 UTC) a devastating Mw 9.0 earthquake took place near the east coast of Honshu, Japan
(38.30N, 142.37E), from the Tohoku to the Kanto region, causing a tsunami which initially was 89 m high and subsequently reached an upstream height of up to 40 m. The energy release was about 10,000 times that caused by the April 6,
2009 LAquila earthquake. A large number of aftershocks occurred and 500 of them were characterised by Mw > 5.0.


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Fig. 20. Estense Fortress of San Felice sul Panaro, Italy: southwest faade (a) before and (b) after the May 20 earthquake; (c) east corner view after the May
20 earthquake; (d) northeast (main) faade after the May 20 earthquake; (e) large crack and corner collapse of the east secondary tower; (f) detachment
between the east secondary tower and the faade wall; and (g) detailed view of northeast and north secondary towers.

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Fig. 21. Town hall of SantAgostino, Italy: (a) global view after the May 20 mainshock; (b) residual drift of the building; (c) further damage to the west
faade during an aftershock; and (d) nal damage state of the west faade and slight damage to the south faade.

A maximum PGA of 2.93g was recorded at the municipality of Tsukidate. Landslides occurred in Miyagi, whereas liquefaction
was observed at Chiba, Odaiba, Tokyo and Urayasu. The tsunami induced vast and heavy damage over a 500 km span of the
pacic east coast of Japan. The Great East Japan earthquake and the subsequent tsunami caused approximately 19,295 dead,
5652 injured, about 450,000 homeless, 115,000 collapsed buildings and 721,000 partially destroyed buildings [2]. Most of
human loss and damage to structures and infrastructures was caused by the tsunami, resulting in a total economic loss between 479 and 710 billion USD corresponding to 1015% of GDP (295374 billion USD of direct loss corresponding to 68% of
GDP). In many Japanese regions, macroseismic intensity of the mainshock was equal to or greater than 10 MM. Given that
maximum amplication of seismic acceleration was found at short periods of vibration, the earthquake mainly impacted on
masonry constructions and mud-wall warehouses over a wide area from the Tohoku to Kanto. About 600 nationally-designated cultural properties were devastated by the earthquake, including 420 cultural heritage structures; damage was detected up to 1000 km away from the epicentre. Many damaged buildings were made up of different kinds of tuff stones,
such as nobiru stone (widely used in the Tohoku region) and oya stone (widely used in the northern part of the Kanto region)
[33]. Lower damage levels were found in the case of brick masonry buildings. Earthquake damage was mainly sustained by
two-storey masonry buildings. In the Hashino Blast Furnace (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture, 1958), which is the Japans oldest western-style blast furnace and a nationally-designated historic site, some ashlar stones were found to be dislodged.
Many stone pagodas, which were designated as important cultural properties, collapsed in Sendai city. Damage to archaeological sites included ground deformations and small-scale landslides. Masonry walls of castles built between the 16th
and 17th centuries sustained signicant damage in the form of cracks and tilting of walls.

4. Simplied seismic assessment of artworks

The reconnaissance of damages to cultural heritage constructions induced by recent earthquakes has highlighted the need
for appropriate earthquake protection measures of artworks, be they located inside or outside these structures. The high
seismic fragility of small-to-medium size monuments is periodically conrmed even under low-magnitude earthquakes,
as shown in the case of a ML 5.4 event occurred on January 27, 2012 (14:53:13 UTC) close to Parma (northern Italy) [34].
The maximum macroseismic intensity was found to be IS = 4 MM and a PGA equal to 0.02g was recorded, even though a maximum PGA of 0.2g was estimated in the epicentral area. While no damage to buildings located in the affected area was detected, three statues located on the parapet of the Ducal Palace of Colorno, Italy (Fig. 28a), fell down as a result of seismic
accelerations at the roof level (Fig. 28b). In order to support the interpretation of such damages, a simplied PBA procedure
according to recent Italian Guidelines for Cultural Heritage seismic protection (IGCH) [35] is outlined herein. For the sake of


F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760

Fig. 22. Town hall of Finale Emilia, Italy: (a) main faade and (b) detail of gable without column after the May 20 earthquake; and (c) gable totally collapsed
during the May 29 earthquake.

Fig. 23. Crack pattern of irregular wall with openings under in-plane seismic actions (San Carlo, fraction of SantAgostino, Italy).

brevity, no applications to real case studies are provided. Nevertheless, a part of this assessment procedure is already being
applied to museum contents located in Italy and a detailed application to the National Museum of Umbria Region can be
found in [36].


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Fig. 24. National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, collapsed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Table 5
Damage to cultural heritage buildings caused by the 20102011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes.

Type of damage



Cathedral of the

 September 2010 earthquake: Minor damage to facing

stones, walls and mosaic oor; mortar bed joint sliding
in the bell towers and window piers of the main dome;
radial cracking from window arches of the nave; out-ofplane movement of the middle column of the north bell
 December 26, 2010 earthquake (Mw 5.8): Diagonal shear
crack in the south bell tower and to a lower extent in the
north bell tower
 February 2011 earthquake: Overturning collapse of the
top section of both bell towers above the main roof level;
heavy damage to the main dome drum and its
supporting arches; partial collapse of the rst oor roof
around the main dome; outward rotation of rst oor
walls; moderate spalling of ground oor piers
 June 2011 earthquake: Further damage to the south
transept and wall delamination close to the south nave

 After the September 2010 earthquake the Basilica was

closed to the public due to a minor-to-moderate damage


 September 2010 earthquake: Slight damage

 The church was built in the 2nd half of the 19th

century, and had been damaged by earthquakes in 1881,
1888, 1901 and 1922
 After the September 2010 earthquake the church was
temporarily closed about 2 weeks for usability


These are the buildings of the Canterbury Provincial

Council that administered the Canterbury Province
between 1853 and 1876


Anglican Cathedral

 December2010 earthquake: Damage increase

 February 2011 earthquake: Collapse of the bell tower;
damage to the gable of the west front; collapse of the
roof over the western section of the north aisle, close to
the bell tower
 June 2011 earthquake: Partial collapse of the main
(west) faade with its rose window
 December 23, 2011 earthquake (Mw 6.0): Total
disruption of the main faade
Council Buildings

 February 2011 earthquake: Almost total collapse of the

stone masonry tower used as northern entrance and the
Stone Chamber
 June 2011 earthquake: Further damage to the Stone

 The main dome and the rear of the Basilica were

 The damage suffered by the main dome drum during
the February 2011 earthquake resulted in a signicant
out-of-plumb and vertical settlement of the dome

4.1. Performance-based assessment rules and Italian guidelines for cultural heritage seismic protection
Seismic safety of cultural heritage constructions should be evaluated in a PBA framework. To this aim, additional performance limits and structural analysis methods with different accuracy levels should be taken into account, depending on the
type of construction being assessed and the scope of the evaluation (e.g., prioritization of earthquake protection interven-


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Fig. 25. Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the 20102011 Canterbury earthquakes: (a) main faade with partially
collapsed bell towers; (b) failed main dome drum to the south side; (c) southeast view; and (d) failed main dome drum and collapsed roof to the north side.

tions, local repair, upgrading and design of retrot interventions). Performance limits are associated with damage states and
an acceptable damage level should be dened according to both socialcultural importance and occupancy levels of the construction. As regards the importance level, Tassios [37] classied monumental constructions as monuments of universal, national or local importance. Furthermore, monuments were grouped in three classes corresponding to frequent, intermittent
and forbidden occupancy, introducing the visitability concept. Four acceptable damage levels were associated with each
combination of importance and occupancy levels. If aesthetic and/or historic values of the monument prevail on its occupancy level, then different damage levels can be accepted for each given importance level. PBA should then consist in assessing whether the construction reaches certain performance limits under design earthquakes with different return period, or
not. In the case of historic masonry constructions, PBA should be a displacement-based assessment, because seismic response is nonlinear even under low levels of seismic horizontal forces and any assumption for displacement ductility would
have an arbitrary meaning.
The guidelines recently issued by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities [35] are a key document where
PBA is codied for protected constructions and more in general for the historic built heritage. IGCH denes a framework for
knowledge, diagnosis, analysis, safety verication, and retrot of historic constructions. The main goal is to balance safety
and conservation and PBA allows one to increase the safety of a construction up to a level lower than that required for ordinary constructions. This gives room for seismic upgrading instead of the classical strengthening. In this context, IGCH
introduces a time-dependent PBA for the earthquake protection of cultural heritage, because safety verications are considered to be valid over a given time interval which is named nominal lifetime of the construction. The latter is dened as the
period in which the structure can be used according to what expected, provided that ordinary maintenance is carried out.
Therefore, the nominal lifetime should not be confused with the actual duration of the construction, which is very long
and could not be used as PBA reference period because safety verications should be too demanding, resulting in too invasive
strengthening interventions. This means that safety verications should be repeated at the end of nominal lifetime and
upgrading solutions should be designed, if any, provided that both seismic hazard at the building site and the capacity model
of the structure are updated. Time is thus a key parameter in PBA of monuments.
In addition to classical performance limits of ordinary structures (i.e., collapse prevention, life safety, damage limitation,
operational level), IGCH introduced the limit state of damage to artworks. The latter can be dened in terms of crack width
or deformation limits, or else through local capacity models of artworks. Three PBA evaluation levels were also introduced
for the following cases: territorial seismic risk assessment (LV1); evaluation of local repair interventions on individual structures (LV2); safety verication and seismic upgrading of individual structures (LV3). Finally, two coefcients were dened:
the seismic safety index, which is the ratio between return period corresponding to the collapse acceleration of the struc-

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Fig. 26. Anglican Cathedral of Christchurch, New Zealand: (a) main faade and bell tower partially collapsed during the February 2011 Canterbury
earthquake; (b) pitched roof over the western section of the north aisle collapsed during the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake; and (c) main faade
collapsed during the June 2011 Canterbury earthquake.

ture and design earthquake return period; the acceleration factor, which is the ratio between collapse acceleration and
acceleration demand. If the seismic safety index is lower than unity in LV1, attention should be paid to the building stock
being assessed. If the acceleration factor is lower than unity in LV2 or LV3, an earthquake resistance decit should be eliminated through seismic upgrading.

4.2. Simplied PBA of artworks

Although the loss of artworks during seismic events has relevant social, cultural and economic impacts, only in recent
years earthquake engineering research has focused on them. A rst attempt to PBA of artworks was proposed by Borri
and De Maria [36], which assessed the seismic vulnerability of statues located in the Umbria National Gallery, Perugia, Italy.
According to that proposal, small-to-medium size museum contents can be assessed in a simplied way through the statics
of rigid bodies. This means that the statues size should be small enough to allows neglecting material deformations and failure. Given the location inside or outside a building and the size of the statue, seismic demand can be estimated according to
seismic hazard at the site and spectral approach. It is emphasised that, as far as masonry constructions are concerned, horizontal peak oor acceleration (PFA) demand at a given oor level of a masonry building can be estimated assuming that it
linearly increases over the building height according to EC8 Part 1 [38] and IBC [17]. Otherwise, a nonlinear PFA prole can
be predicted as a result of the dynamic ltering effect of the building and diaphragms, as well as the dynamic response of
URM walls (see, for instance, [39]). As in the case of the out-of-plane response of walls, the problem is to predict the response
of a secondary non-structural component within or attached to a structure subjected to lateral loading. Nonetheless, if the
goal is a quick seismic assessment of artworks for dening risk-based intervention priorities, a simplied procedure is required so the complexity related to artworkstructure interaction cannot be taken into account.
In the following, we present a PBA method which considers not only potential overturning of statues and similar artworks, but also their possible sliding which can produce the fall from basements. To this end, the vertical acceleration demand is taken into consideration in addition to that typically estimated in the horizontal direction, because it can
signicantly reduce the stabilisation effect of the artwork weight against overturning and sliding failure. This usually occurs
in the case of monuments located in the epicentral area where near-source earthquake characteristics have a relevant
impact, as shown above for a number of damaging earthquakes. It is noted that the proposed method does not apply to


F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760

Fig. 27. Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand: (a) and (b) Stone Chamber collapsed during the February 2011 Canterbury
earthquake; and (c) further damage to the Stone Chamber due to the June 2011 Canterbury earthquake.

Fig. 28. Ducal Palace of Colorno, Italy: (a) main faade and (b) statue fallen down during the 2012 Parma earthquake.

large-size artworks because: (1) detailed capacity models of both artworks and their supporting primary structure should be
developed and (2) nonlinear structural analysis procedures should be used to predict material deformations and failure in
addition to overall response parameters.
Let us consider a statue with basement as shown in Fig. 29. Based on the kinematic approach of limit equilibrium analysis,
one can assess whether the statue can collapse or not under earthquake horizontal and vertical loading, provided that the
following information is known: geographical location of the building site; local soil conditions; building height; location
of the statue in height from the base of the building; centroid location of both the statue and its basement. The assessment
procedure presented below also applies to other monumental elements, such as museum contents, historic archives and libraries, and archaeological elements. The following notation is used herein: hB = basement height; rx = minimum setback
along the x-direction; ry = minimum setback along the y-direction; GS = statue centroid; GB basement centroid; xGS = distance
of the statue centroid from the y-axis; zGS = distance of the statue centroid from the oor/ground; xGB = distance of the basement centroid from the y-axis; zGB = distance of the basement centroid from the oor/ground; WB = basement weight; WS = -

F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760


statue weight; SS = frictional resistance of statue-basement interface; SB = frictional resistance of basement-oor/ground

interface; CS = potential rotation centre of the statue; CB = potential rotation centre of the statue-basement system; FHS = horizontal component of seismic force applied to the statue; FVS = vertical component of seismic force applied to the statue;
FHB = horizontal component of seismic force applied to the basement; FVB = vertical component of seismic force applied to
the basement. Assuming that materials of the statue and basement are homogeneous, the location of centroids just depends
on the shape of the elements and forces can be applied to these points. It is emphasised that a combination of the three components of seismic demand should be taken into account, and seismic capacity should be estimated along both directions
considering that the statue can have an asymmetric support. Fig. 29 shows, for instance, a case where ry = 0 so the safety
level against overturning mechanisms is different along the x- and y-directions in plan. Nevertheless, potential overturning
and sliding mechanisms are here assumed to occur along the x-direction. The case of statue without basement is not discussed as it is a simplication of that considered herein. It is underlined that the methodology proposed in this study requires the acquisition of some geometric and mechanical data; in some cases, such data are already available in
museums and local/national ofces for cultural heritage. In the case of statue and/or basement with irregular shape, the location of the centroid can be obtained by laser scanning or other digital geometric survey techniques, which are commonly
used in engineering practice. The weight of the statue and basement can be measured on site by means of a load cell or simpler weighing scales. Finally, the frictional resisting forces of the statue-basement interface and basement-oor/ground
interface can be measured, for instance, on site through a simple tribometer or in laboratory through appropriate shear test
setups. The latter should be able to reproduce the actual conditions of the artwork to be assessed, in terms of interface properties and conning weight of the statue or statue-basement system. Nonetheless, in many cases such tests can be avoided
by using mean friction coefcients provided by engineers handbooks for common interfaces (e.g., wood-on-marble, woodon-wood, marble-on-marble, marble-on-terracotta).
4.2.1. Overturning mechanisms
If a rigid-body rotation of the statue around CS is considered, the overturning moment capacity and demand are

MC W S xGS  r x

MD F HS zGS  hB F VS xGS  r x

Fig. 29. Limit equilibrium analysis of statue with basement.


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As an uncoupled analysis of overturning and sliding mechanisms is carried out, an innite frictional resistance at points CS
and CB during rocking motion is assumed. In near-source conditions the vertical seismic demand can exceed those in the
horizontal directions, resulting in the need for additional systems able to increase the self-weight stabilisation effect. Nonetheless, if FVS = 0 is assumed, the multiplier of the horizontal seismic action corresponding to the activation of the overturning mechanism (MD = MC) is a0 = (xGS  rx)/(zGS  hB). This is the allowable ratio between FHS and WS, or equivalently the ratio
between collapse horizontal spectral acceleration a0 and gravitational acceleration g.
If rocking of the statue-basement system around CB is considered, the overturning moment capacity and demand turn out
to be respectively



If FVS = FVB = 0 is assumed and the vertical variation of seismic demand from GB to GS is neglected (this is close to reality in
the case of small-to-medium size artworks), the collapse multiplier of the horizontal seismic action is given by



Finally, after the actual value of a0 has been predicted as the minimum between those associated with the overturning of
the statue and statue-basement system, the relevant moment capacity and demand can be used to evaluate the overturning
safety factor as ISO = MC/MD.
4.2.2. Sliding mechanisms
Such a failure type can be assumed to be prevented if the sliding safety factors ISS,1 = SS/FHS and ISS,2 = SB/(FHS + FHB) are
greater than or equal to unity. Such factors are associated with potential sliding over statue-basement and basementoor/ground interfaces. It is underlined that both SS and SB should be evaluated considering the effect of vertical component
of seismic action. Nonetheless, if no information on frictional resistance is available, sliding vulnerability cannot be assessed.
4.2.3. Spectral acceleration capacity
The collapse acceleration will be the minimum between those corresponding to ISO = 1, ISS,1 = 1 and ISS,2 = 1. This means
that, if the minimum collapse multiplier a0,min has been estimated, a0 can be assumed to be


a0;min g
e CF

where e and CF are respectively the participating mass factor (which can be set to unity for our purposes) and the condence
factor (which depends on uncertainties affecting material properties and geometry of the artwork), according to IBC [17] and
EC8 Part 3 [38].
4.2.4. Spectral acceleration demand and vulnerability level of the artwork
The horizontal seismic force to any non-structural component can be assumed to be Fa = SaWa/qa [17,38] where: Sa is the
horizontal seismic coefcient at the location of the non-structural component in height; Wa and qa are the weight and behaviour factor of the non-structural component (set to unity if an elastic limit state is considered for seismic assessment against
frequent earthquakes), respectively. Let us denote as: ag the design PGA on type A ground (corresponding to a given probability of exceedance in a reference time period); S the soil factor representing the stratigraphic and topographic amplication of earthquake ground motion; z the height of the non-structural component above the level of application of the seismic
action; H the height of the building; Ta the fundamental vibration period of the non-structural component; and T1 the fundamental vibration period of the building in the direction being considered. Code-based procedures consider the effect of the
ratio of the vibration period of the non-structural component to the vibration period of the building, the overstrength or ductility of the non-structural component or its connections, and the relative location of the non-structural element in height
from the building base. In fact, according to IBC [17] and EC8 Part 1 [38], the horizontal seismic coefcient can be estimated

ag S 6


3 1 Hz
ag S

2  0:55 P
1 1  T1

Assuming that the non-structural component is rigid with respect to the oor/ground support (i.e., Ta = 0), the horizontal
seismic acceleration demand can be estimated as


ag S 
1 1:5

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Actually, in the case of masonry buildings a linear fundamental mode of vibration can be assumed, whereas z/H can be
approximated as the ratio n/N between the oor number and the total number of storeys if the interstorey height does
not signicantly change over the building height. Thus, Eq. (8) can be replaced by


ag S 
1 1:5

in the case of a quick PBA. The horizontal forces FHS and FHB, which are respectively applied to the statue and its basement,
can then be computed. Finally, the acceleration factor dened by IGCH [35] (see Section 4.1) can be estimated as


a q
 0 a 
ag S 1 1:5 Hz CF


where one can assume qa = 2. A vulnerability index can be derived as IV = 1/fa, so the artwork can be considered to have a low
vulnerability level if 0 6 IV 6 0.5, medium vulnerability level if 0.5 6 IV 6 1, and high vulnerability level if IV > 1.
4.2.5. Vulnerability due to large displacements
A more realistic assessment of artworks at ultimate limit states can be carried out through nonlinear kinematic analysis,
where material and geometric nonlinearities are considered and the artwork is generalised as single-degree-of-freedom system with trilinear forcedisplacement relationship. This approach (which is just mentioned here as it is not suitable for quick
seismic assessment) allows one to assess whether a statue, or any other similar artwork, is prone to reach collapse as a result
of pounding against adjacent elements. In fact, after the capacity curve of the artwork is obtained by means of nonlinear
kinematic analysis, the secant period Ts can be estimated through a trilinear approximation of the capacity curve. Therefore,
the artwork can be considered to be safe if it turns out to be

DD T s 6 minDC ; dG


where DD(Ts) is the displacement demand corresponding to Ts; DC the displacement capacity of the artwork; dG is the gap
between artwork and adjacent element (e.g., wall). If a detailed PBA is the target of the safety evaluation, another vulnerability index in terms of displacement can be dened and compared to that expressed as function of accelerations.
5. Conclusions
Damage to cultural heritage constructions induced by earthquakes occurred in several countries has been discussed, providing data on major human and economic losses. Such earthquakes have conrmed the high fragility of historic masonry
constructions, for which the main critical issues have been identied. All earthquakes have shown that vaults and domes,
clock and bell towers, pitched roofs, tympanums and apses of churches are the most vulnerable elements of historic masonry
buildings. In the case of historic centres, earthquake damage tends to concentrate in corner building units of masonry building aggregates. The masonry quality also plays a crucial role. Earthquakes occurred in Italy, New Zealand and Japan have
shown a better seismic performance of clay brick masonry compared to limestone, tuff stone and multi-leaf masonry assemblages. Ineffective or lacking passing-through connections in multi-leaf masonry assemblages, useless or missing connections between roofs and walls, diaphragm exibility, and low gravity loads signicantly increase the risk of out-of-plane
failure of gables, walls and parapets. The insertion of timber/steel ties, reinforced masonry stringcourses, or small RC bond
beams can drastically improve out-of-plane resistance. Structural irregularities due to openings in URM walls typically cause
unusual crack patterns which however can be predicted through simplied macroelement seismic analysis of URM buildings. The presence of arcades at the ground oor can induce soft storey mechanisms, whereas the interaction between
churches and their bell towers causes damage concentration at the church-tower interface. Wrong retrot interventions
can increase the seismic vulnerability of historic masonry constructions; for instance, out-of-plane failure modes are facilitated by the replacement of original exible diaphragms with stiff and heavy RC slabs. Seismic ground motion characteristics notably affect response of masonry structures, because the latter can suffer damage accumulation during earthquake
sequences or clusters, as well as unusual failure modes in near-source conditions. Finally, liquefaction and lateral spreading
were found to be sources of heavy damage to masonry buildings.
The observation of social, cultural and economic losses caused by damage to artworks, such as statues and paintings, has
highlighted that their protection against both frequent and rare earthquakes is a must. Therefore, to support the interpretation of observed damage to non-structural monumental goods such as statues, a simplied PBA procedure has been outlined
on the basis of Italian guidelines on cultural heritage. This procedure could be applied to quickly assess small-to-medium
size artworks such as museum contents, historic archives and libraries, and archaeological elements.
This research was carried out in the framework of the ReLUIS-DPC 20102013 Project (Line AT1-1.1 Evaluation of the
Vulnerability of Masonry Buildings, Historical Centres and Cultural Heritage) and PON 01-02324 PROVACI (Technologies for
Earthquake Protection and Valorisation of Cultural Heritage Sites), which were respectively funded by the Italian Civil


F. Parisi, N. Augenti / Engineering Failure Analysis 34 (2013) 735760

Protection Department and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. The authors thank Jason Ingham for
supplying valuable information and photographs regarding Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquakes.


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