The Arc/k Project is thrilled to set the stage at the international online conference hosted by NETCHER on March 1-2, 2021. Arc/k provided our digital 3D model of Palmyra’s Roman Theater for the virtual environment of this Final Forum Online event.
Netcher project (NETwork and social platform for Cultural Heritage Enhancing and Rebuilding) aims at building an information network and a chart of good practices at European scale by gathering a maximum number of actors engaged in cultural preservation. The Arc/k Project values the opportunity to align our research and cultural heritage archiving with opportunities which promote mutual learning and coordination.
Arc/k’s Creative Process for Virtual Palmyra
To create the theater, Arc/k used the technique of crowdsourced photogrammetry. Crowdsourced photogrammetry is a technique of analyzing thousands of photos to reconstitute lost, damaged, or destroyed sites in 3D and in virtual reality. Arc/k gathered more than 10,000 images and photographs of the artifacts captured by tourists, academics, and surveyors between five and ten years before ISIS arrived. After digitally preserving the images, photos were analyzed, and photogrammetry software was adapted to accept photos from many cameras and lenses. Without CGI or other artificial digital manipulations, we were able to achieve viable, detailed 3D models of the ancient ruins in Palmyra.
Perpetuity | Palmyra consists of several sites: the Temple of Bel, the Arch of Triumph, The Roman Theater, and the Fakhr-al-Din al-Ma’ani Castle in Palmyra, Syria.
Image: 3D Model development of Roman Theater of Palmyra, Perpetuity Palmyra, The Arc/k Project
We hope these 3D models can be used to educate and re-establish the destroyed sites for the benefit of the Syrian people and the restoration of their cultural heritage.
“It goes without saying that our collective cultures play an invaluable role in how we live our lives as well as how societies rebuild after such a national trauma,” shared Brian Pope, Founder and Executive Director of The Arc/k Project. “Those currently on the ground in Syria have to rightfully prioritize citizens’ lives and humanitarian efforts over cultural preservation, but we saw an opening for everyday citizens to contribute by “mining” the past for photos of lost heritage. We believe that this sort of empowerment will not only show people of the region that they can make a difference but also it will allow for the archiving of such culture for all future generations.”
NETCHER is a transnational project, started in January 2019, aims at reinforcing the fight against cultural heritage looting and trafficking, by bringing together relevant international actors and intends to build a sustainable social online Platform. Participants include security and research communities, public and private institutions, art market specialists and policy makers. The Final Forum will present overall results and achievements of the project, final recommendations, research and technology roadmaps, good practices and will address the issue of communication and awareness raising.
The recent US bombing in the region is a reminder that Syria continues to be ravaged by this now 10+ year war, putting all of its cultural heritage at risk. The Arc/k Project sees Perpetuity Palmyra as a valuable educational tool in a range of ways; not just a virtual site or textbook but also a beacon for the importance of preservation.
Explore Perpetuity Palmyra: the-arckives.org
Learn more about The Arc/k Project’s Cultural Heritage Initiative in Syria: https://arck-project.org/initiatives/syria/