For more than six centuries, Milan Cathedral has been celebrated the whole world over as one of the finest examples of unique sculpture and an architectural masterpiece. For many, the building is the very symbol of the city of Milan.
An incident in July 2013 highlighted the need to update security at the site. The Enzo Hruby Foundation – a leader in Italy and Europe in terms of offering protection for historical and artistic sites – swiftly collaborated with the professional security division of Samsung Techwin to provide the very latest video surveillance technology as part of a prestigious protection project.
“We’re very happy to be able to offer this concrete contribution to our city,” said Carlo Hruby, the vice-president of The Enzo Hruby Foundation. “This project safeguards a unique cultural heritage and the symbol of Milan by monitoring an extensive municipal area, the protection of which is for the benefit and peace of mind of citizens and tourists alike.”
Hruby continued: “Today, video surveillance security is one of the fastest developing sectors. For this project, which is a fine example of perfect collaboration between the public and private sectors, some of the very latest technologies have been applied. The police now have an irreplaceable instrument to help them in their duties.”
Continuing the security theme, Fabio Andreoni (country manager for Italy at Samsung Techwin) explained: “This project let us use the very latest solutions to protect an area loved by every citizen of Milan and many more people besides. We’re particularly pleased to be able to show how technology, used in an effective way, can really help make the work done by the authorities much more efficient and, in broader terms, improve the quality of life for the people of Milan.”
In addition, Andreoni commented: “It’s just one piece of a more complex puzzle, but if making Piazza del Duomo safer helps contribute to a more efficient management of the area, with a consequent increase in the number of visitors and revenues, we’ll have proven how we can reach important goals quickly and achieve excellent results by operating in harmony with various public and private bodies.”
The Milan Cathedral Protection Project
To guarantee protection for the monument and control the vast urban area around the perimeter of the cathedral and on the rooftop terraces, a modern video surveillance system of the latest generation was installed, with 20 remotely managed HD night vision cameras operating around the clock.
Twelve cameras complete with video analytics were installed in strategic points around the perimeter to guarantee complete coverage and leave no area uncovered. Seven cameras of the same kind have been installed on the terraces, with one motor-driven HD camera covering the entire length of the central section.
All the cameras have built-in IR night vision illuminators so no modifications to the current lighting were required around the perimeter or on the terraces. This realises a non-invasive intervention in terms of installation and infrastructure.
The new cameras – images from which are transmitted to the local police Operations Centre and the provincial police headquarters – are integrated with the images from the urban video surveillance system connected to a high-tech video analysis system that can detect and classify suspicious activity and objects. These are in addition to the 1,300 cameras already managed by the authorities.
Umbra Control from Perugia was responsible for the project.
“With this important project, we’re protecting not only the Monument but also the piazza and the area around the cathedral,” said Angelo Caloia, president of the Venerable Duomo Factory.
“Five million people visit the cathedral every year. In 2015, we estimate that 20 million tourists will pass through its doors. The factory is working hard to keep all areas of the Monument open with 12 building sites, and also thanks to important security measures such as this. This major project is important not only for the cathedral. It also provides added security for the city with the upcoming Expo 2015. We can only thank those who, like The Enzo Hruby Foundation and Samsung Techwin, were ready to share in the importance of this task.”
The Milan Cathedral Museum: security systems
The work of The Enzo Hruby Foundation and Samsung Techwin didn’t end with the project to protect the Milan Cathedral and its heritage, though. The two parties have in fact been called on to protect the Duomo’s Museum, which reopened on 4 November 2013 after eight years of careful restoration work.
The security system meets the specific requirements associated with the particular characteristics of the environment and the variety of the works of art in the museum, with solutions aimed at satisfying the aesthetic needs of the building (which has been home to all sorts of materials that tell the story of the Milan Cathedral since 1953).
The museum contains valuable works of art including tapestries, sculptures, architectural models, paintings, stained glass, hangings and other works, all of which require specifically studied protection systems for first class security.
The latest generation Samsung Techwin cameras with full HD resolution and the new WiseNet 3 processors were used to guarantee a system with the very highest image quality, offering optimised compression and management of network resources.
The most suitable camera was chosen for each environment both from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of performance. The museum has 26 rooms with a total surface area of 2,000 m2. Most of the cameras in the museum are mini dome interior cameras with IR illuminators. New fish-eye cameras with 360 degree lenses were also used in some of the rooms to control the whole exhibit space.
All the cameras send their signals to a central recording unit, with three Samsung Techwin SRN-1000 Network Video Recorders in operation.
About The Enzo Hruby Foundation
The Enzo Hruby Foundation was established in Milan almost six years ago on the initiative of the Hruby family and HESA S.p.A. It takes its name from the founder and current president, Enzo Hruby, who introduced the very first electronic security systems to Italy back in the late 1960s.
The Foundation aims to promote a culture of security, protecting heritage sites and items from theft and vandalism through the correct use of the latest advanced technology.
Of the various initiatives, The Enzo Hruby Foundation offers a concrete contribution to protecting the historical and artistic heritage of Italy by providing security systems for buildings, property and works of art of particular historical and cultural value. Intruder alarms, video surveillance and fire-fighting systems are all employed.
Once the projects of interest have been selected, the Foundation contacts top class installers to prepare the relevant projects.
The Turin Shroud during the extension of the Turin Cathedral, the manuscripts of the Vatican Apostolic Library during digitisation of the documents, the Cini Foundation, the St. Francis of Assisi Library, the Asinelli Tower in Bologna and Milan Cathedral are just some of the sites The Enzo Hruby Foundation has helped to safeguard.
To pursue its institutional purpose, The Enzo Hruby Foundation also promotes studies, research, seminars, conventions and publications on the theme of security and the optimal use of available technologies.
Initiatives of The Enzo Hruby Foundation also include the H D’Oro, awarded every year to outstanding installers for the best security installations, and publication of the ‘EHF – Security for Culture’ magazine.
Samsung Techwin products used in the Milan Cathedral Project
12 x SNO-6084RP 2MP 1080p Full HD IP cameras
4 x SNO-6084RP 2MP 1080p Full HD IP cameras
1 x SNP-6200RHP 2MP 1080p Full HD IP dome camera
1 x SRN-1000 Network Video Recorder
74 x SNO-6084RP 2MP 1080p Full HD IP cameras
2 x SNF-7010P 360⁰ fisheye interior cameras
3 x SRN-1000 Network Video Recorders