Fuentidueña Apse.12C.Spain.Cloisters.Drone.HirokoMasuikeNYT

The 12th century Fuentidueña Monastery in Spain was a ruin when New York’s Museum of Modern Art found it in the 1930s, except for the church’s apse, a semicircular structure containing the high altar. Workers took the apse apart brick by brick and rebuilt it as part of The Cloisters, a specialty museum for religious art in northern Manhattan. But like all stonework, it requires regular maintenance, an assessment which used to take months: building a scaffold and sending workers up to photograph every crevice, corbel and cranny. Now they do it in one sunny day with an operator and a drone; the light is uniform for comparing photos, conservators get immediate access and the drone can’t file a disability claim if by chance it falls. (Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)

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