Times for Parthenon Sculptures: The British Museum to Replace Them with Digital Copies


London, Thanasis Gavos

The Times of London reiterates in a new article the support they now provide to the request for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures in Athens. This time the article is published on the occasion of the intention of a British institute to reproduce the sculptures to the nearest millimeter, so that the British Museum can exhibit the copies.

This is the proposal that was unveiled weeks ago by the Institute of Digital Archeology outside Oxford, which uses a “human-touch robot”, as the newspaper comments, with the ability to create faithful copies of archeological monuments, something it has already done with the ISIS-destroyed Syrian Arch of Palmyra.

Speaking to the Times, Roger Michael, director of the institute, said that if the British Museum did not give permission for the Greek sculptures to be photographed with 3D imaging cameras, a “guerrilla” tactic could be used, ie to capture the Sculptures with 3D cameras using potentially an “army of patriotic Greeks”.

Mr. Michael explains that these three-dimensional images of monuments are loaded into the system of a robotic machine with the ability to reproduce them to the nearest millimeter by carving the stone. “It looks like something out of the first Exterminator movie, but the subtlety of the sculpture is simply impressive. “It’s as good as anything a human sculptor can do,” says Michael.

A spokesman for the institute told SKAI weeks ago that “our hope is that this program will provide a way to resolve the impasse”, adding that “it would be wonderful to see the Marbles back in Greece”.

Today’s Times article states that the British Museum should “embrace” the technological opportunity provided.

“The marbles should be returned to Greece, where they can be exhibited at the magnificent Acropolis Museum in Athens. The British Museum should agree to exhibit the 3D copies. In return, Greece could pledge not to allow more copies to be made. “In this way the Greeks can regain their cultural heritage and the British Museum can maintain its status as the most important historical collection in the world,” the Times article concludes.

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