The mission of the Gate Museum is in part to “make history cool,” utilizing the latest technology advances as well as creating our own in-house technologies. 3D printing answers many critical cultural issues, which we foster in a way few museums have ever attempted. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, designed by Phidias will be recreated for the exhibition. The statue endured almost 800 years before being moved or destroyed under unknown circumstances. Our model is based on the most accurate information available. Visitors to the Gate Museum will experience the majesty of one of the Seven Wonders as well as iconic classical sculptures of Olympic athletes.
Cultural terrorism is running amok and recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria the Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS) nihilists are destroying countless priceless patrimony, some dating back to the Roman and Persian empires and earlier. In 2001 the Taliban taunted the world with their threats, and subsequent destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas. In the Iraqi city of Mosul, ISIS militants smashed ancient art and antiquities in the Mosul Museum with sledgehammers, and broadcast the destruction in a video that went viral earlier this year. Recently, the Temple of Bel (a UNESCO heritage site) and Roman triumphal arch with scholars tied to them were reduced to rubble by ISIS fighters and the world reacted with shock, disgust, and helplessness as the region’s shared cultural patrimony was destroyed. This is, unfortunately, nothing new. Many individuals and states throughout time have sought to destroy the past and the shared history that unites us. Through 3D printing technology, the NMF is determined to ensure that global patrimony remains with us and part of the human experience.
History does not simply endure. You need only visit great cities like London, Warsaw, Rome, Berlin, or St. Petersburg to appreciate how history cannot just endure but thrive amid reconstructed architecture. Some of these great cities suffered massive destruction during World War II and were then reconstructed in the post-war years. Warsaw was destroyed and then rebuilt and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Major sections of historic London and St. Petersburg were also reconstructed after the war. Berlin is still doing this in the historic center and the Royal Enclave of Potsdam. Yet, anyone who visits these cities today cannot fail to appreciate the richness and depth of their historical fingerprint. The fact that they embody reconstructions is wholly irrelevant to their primary function as visual reminders of national identity and shared human heritage. Reconstruction can be imbued with important symbolic value. Anyone who has visited the World Trade Center site in New York City cannot fail to appreciate the extraordinary power of the new tower that has risen there, next to the very powerful memorial to what had been there.
Our shared human cultural values are under attack by barbarians. This is a new paradigm which the world has never seen before, as many of the acts of barbarism occur in non-war circumstances. The world’s cultural leaders must rise to embrace our fledgling, but emerging, 3D technology as a bulwark against emerging barbarism. If these nihilists knew that technology can immediately rebuild destroyed patrimony, exactly as it was, sans age, maybe just maybe, it would preclude some of this destruction.
Imagine the Sphynx, Angkor Wat, or the Taj Mahal destroyed. If these immensely important world treasures were destroyed, would we shrug and lament this grotesque annihilation when we can now rebuild exactly, with 3D technology, these greatest of human achievements? No. The world’s museums and scholars, particularly of antiquities, must embrace this new technology, and proclaim it to the world as critically important, and ask for global patrimony to assist in its advancement and sophistication.
3D Digital Design: 3DPtree
3D Printing & Slicing: Stratasys
3D Printing & Education: Kennesaw State University 3D
Finishing & Throne Creation: Stan Mullins
Education: Technical Training Aids
3D printing makes three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
In the future, digitizing real objects into 3D models will become as easy as taking a picture. It will also allow museum curators and archaeologists the ability to record our greatest cultural patrimony if it is destroyed by time, war or terrorism. In so doing, they can be recreated in original materials, and provide a deterrent to barbarism which increasingly in modern times is a threat to our shared cultural legacy.