In May 2013 the GCI conducted a condition assessment of the wall paintings of the Church of Santiago de Kuño Tambo in Peru. This field campaign was part of the GCI's Seismic Retrofitting Project, which tests and designs retrofitting techniques for historic earthen buildings. Through in-depth analysis of four prototype historic buildings in Peru, the project—a partnership among the GCI, University College London (UCL), the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture—is developing guidelines to protect earthen structures against earthquakes.
One of the four prototype buildings being investigated is the church of Kuño Tambo. This seventeenth-century adobe church in the Andes Mountains southwest of Cusco has valuable wall paintings requiring protection prior to retrofitting; before protection can be implemented, the conditions of the wall paintings need to be documented. In May 2013 the GCI team, with participation of wall paintings conservator Clemencia Vernaza and Carleton University in Ottawa, performed assessments using previously produced orthophotos to map conditions. Specialists from the Ministry of Culture of Peru, together with architects of the archbishopric, rounded out the team.
During the campaign, Luis Peirano, Peruvian minister of culture, visited Kuño Tambo, emphasizing in a speech to the community the need for preservation of the heritage and traditions of the village. GCI project manager Claudia Cancino presented the ongoing work to the community and ministerial authorities. The work at the church of Kuño Tambo is supported by a grant from the Friends of Heritage Preservation.