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CULTNAT Unveils the "Keys to Rome"


On the 23rd of September, CULTNAT celebrated the opening of an international exhibition at Bibliotheca Alexandrina under the title of "keys to Rome". The exhibition showcases the usage of the 3D techniques in dealing with the artifacts of the Museum of Antiquities of the BA. The museum was within the framework of the network of excellence for Virtual Museums Project (V-MUST); a project which will be completed in 4 years at a cost of 170,000 Euro. The project is funded by the European Union and includes 19 partners, where the BA is the only non-European partner. This event was attended by Mr. Mamdouh Al-Damati, Minister of Antiquity, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Eng. Mohamed Farouk, Deputy Director of CULTNAT, and a group of political, cultural and public figures.

“Keys to Rome” is a unique international exhibition, that, for the first time ever it will be organized in parallel in four incredible locations: in Rome in the Imperial Fora Museum, in Alexandria in the Archaeological Museum of the BA, in Amsterdam in the recently renovated Allard Pierson Museum, and finally in Sarajevo in the headquarters of the newly restored Council of the city.
The exhibition serves as a creative, interactive journey to learn about the city of Emperor Augustus and the Romanian Empire. This is done through the seeing and the cohabitation, where the visitor inside the BA exhibition can go back in time to the Serapium Temple in the second century, and to the Ancient Port of Alexandria in the 3rd and 6th century AD. The visitor will also see an amazing array of artifacts, including a funeral mask, Homer Papyrus, a golden ring, and a statue for Harpocrates.
Eng. Farouk stated that the (Matrix App) comes ahead of the applications launched by the center. It is a program for the virtual museum, where the visitor can download it on his smart phone, and navigate between the corridors of the four museums that represent the different eras of human civilization and places of prosperity and unique treasures.
He added that one of the most important applications is the HOLOBOX program, through which the visitor can see holographic HD images of 3D artifacts displayed in the four museums and he/she will have the opportunity to control the artifacts through the use of the natural interaction system (sensor LEAP).
Furthermore, he stressed that all multimedia technologies used in the exhibition are the result of a four-years joint cooperation between researchers and developers of the V-MUST project and the "keys to Rome" exhibition is the concrete result of this effort. It is posing itself as a prototype for the future, testifying the success of V-MUST. Its aim was indeed to provide the heritage sector with the tools and support to develop Virtual Museums that are educational, enjoyable, long-lasting and easy to maintain.