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News

Italian cathedral uses video surveillance for service transmission and security

Milestone Systems : 26 October, 2012  (Application Story)
Based on Milestone video management software, a cathedral in Puglia is providing benefits to its congregation as well as improving the security of its relics
Italian cathedral uses video surveillance for service transmission and security

Milestone Systems’ open platform IP video management software (VMS) is being used with Sony network cameras by the Andria Cathedral in Italy for security surveillance and to display religious services to congregations sitting in the chapel and side naves to the central church.

The Cathedral of Andria rests in the Puglia Region of Southern Italy, an artistic and historic treasure for which a video surveillance system was requested. Dating from the 12th century, the cathedral contains a famed precious relic, “The Holy Thorn”, believed to be from the Crown of Thorns forced on the head of Christ before his crucifixion. It also holds the tombs of two wives of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia, Yolanda of Brienne and Elizabeth of England, as well as a 13th century icon of the Madonna and a 15th century bust of Francesco II del Balzo, Duke of Andria, attributed to the sculptor Francesco Laurana.

Given the importance of the building and its historical treasures, church authorities commissioned a special technologically advanced surveillance system for the main goal of monitoring the premises during night conditions. Side benefits were quickly found for faithful visitors of the services.

The Andria Cathedral has been equipped with 32 Sony video cameras, fixed and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) models, both High Definition (HD) and full HD. Thanks to special infra-red LEDs, the cameras achieve night vision even in pitch darkness.

The video from all of the cameras is archived in Milestone XProtect® video management software (VMS) and viewed live through the XProtect® Smart Client interface. In addition to serving as daytime and night-time security video, the system allows church-goers in the lateral naves to see the religious functions held in the presbytery and side chapel, displaying the live images of the services to the adjacent areas.

The images are relayed to six 40" screens attached to the central columns of the cathedral, which can also be video-projected in a large adjoining chapel. The system can furthermore be used to show DVDs, audio/video guides, cultural and tourist presentations - a benefit that is much appreciated by visitors.

“Operating in sites of major historic and cultural significance is especially satisfying, all the more so in cases like this where the religious dimension is deeply important," explains Alfredo Donadei, Senior Channel Account Manager, Video Security, Sony Europe. “The solution has been designed and installed in the cathedral by Tecnoimpianti Pizzolorusso, with whom we have a long-standing collaboration. The system stores all the video surveillance data in a special server, managed by Milestone XProtect® Professional software. For even greater security and data management, the server has been equipped with 4 hard discs of various capacities, configured in RAID modality.”

“The church authorities are extremely satisfied, not only with the security performance of the system, but also with the extraordinary quality of the images transmitted,” says both Gianluca and Francesco Pizzolorusso, owners of Tecnoimpianti Pizzolorusso Srl. “Sony is a worldwide benchmark performer in the field of video surveillance, and we chose the cameras for their outstanding image quality, unobtrusive equipment and unbeatable price-quality ratio.”

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