Seismic performance assessment and base-isolated floor protection of statues exhibited in museum halls

Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, September 2014.

Stefano Sorace1, Gloria Terenzi 2


  1. Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Udine, Via delle Scienze 206, 33100, Udine, Italy and
  2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence, Via S. Marta 3, 50139, Florence, Italy.



A study concerning the evaluation of seismic response of statues exhibited in art museums, and a base-isolated floor strategy for their enhanced protection, are presented in this paper. Attention is particularly focused on statues made of small tensile strength materials, whose behaviour is simulated by a smeared-crack finite element approach. Seismic performance is assessed by referring to four levels specially postulated herein, and namely: (1) Rest conditions; (2) No rocking; (3) Damage control; and (4) Collapse prevention. The response is investigated via incremental dynamic analysis, by progressively increasing the amplitude of the ground motion histories adopted as inputs, and by relating output data to the limit conditions fixed for the above-mentioned performance levels. The assessment procedure is applied to a demonstrative case study, represented by a marble statue to be exhibited in the museum wing situated at the ground level of a medieval castle in Italy, according to an architectural hypothesis of partial rebuilding and reuse of the stronghold. The design solution for the base-isolated floor consists in a system of double-friction pendulum isolators. The finite element model constitutive laws and parameters, the dynamic analyses carried out in fixed-base and base-isolated floor conditions, and the practical implementation of the assumed performance assessment criteria are reported for the statue examined, along with a selection of technical details of the floor design.

Go To Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering


Seismic performance assessment and base-isolated floor protection of statues exhibited in museum halls. Advances In Engineering



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