The analysis of rocking behaviour is a key aspect of safety assessment the maintenance of artifacts, like statues vases, since the rocking itself can be the cause of damage at the base of the object, due to impact with the support. By seismic excitation, a freestanding object may in fact enter a rocking state which would cause overturning, so that often the sliding is desirable, given the possibility of evaluating relative displacements to avoid collisions. In the majority of cases, museum exhibitions are not equipped with isolation devices for every single contained object. This paper presents the theoretical numerical bases of a simple low cost isolation system to protect small art objects. Smaller artifacts are in fact the more prone to overturning since the rocking response is highly influenced by the size of the object. The insertion of a further rigid body between the moving base the statue can reduce the effect of base motion due to earthquakes. The case study is a real marble statue by Donatello, placed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence.
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