Ornamental stones of the Verbano Cusio Ossola quarry district: characterization of materials, quarrying techniques and history and relevance to local and national heritage
Giovanna A. Dino, Alessandro Cavallo, 2015. "Ornamental stones of the Verbano Cusio Ossola quarry district: characterization of materials, quarrying techniques and history and relevance to local and national heritage", Global Heritage Stone: Towards International Recognition of Building and Ornamental Stones, D. Pereira, B. R. Marker, S. Kramar, B. J. Cooper, B. E. Schouenborg
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This paper reports the results of an Interreg Project (OSMATER – Sub-Alpine Observatory Materials Territory Restoration) that investigated the present and historical quarrying and processing activities in the cross-border area between the Ossola Valley (Italy) and the Canton Ticino (Switzerland), and the use of dimension stones in local and national architecture. These materials are in many ways unique for their abundance and lithological variety. In the past, their extraction, processing and application characterized in a decisive way the architectural and constructive culture, both in terms of prestigious architecture and civil buildings, establishing a relationship between ‘stones and culture’, and ‘territory and its resources’. In recent years, many traditions of the quarrying, processing and architectural activities are losing importance and interest is being loss, resulting in a loss of knowledge and historical memory. The loss of this knowledge is likely to become irreversible in the short term, with the disappearance of people and social groups as depositaries of tradition. We conclude that the creation of an ‘observatory’, like OSMATER, is desirable and, indeed, essential if we want to preserve the historical memory of the stone industry of an entire production area.