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High Resolution 3D for Scientific and Cultural Heritage collections (AGORA 3D)

Research project AG/LL/164 (Research action AG)

Persons :

  • Dr.  SEMAL Patrick - Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences ()
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/9/2012-31/3/2014
  • Prof. dr.  MERGEN Patricia - Royal Museum for Central Africa ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/9/2012-31/3/2014
  • Prof. dr.  GILISSEN Emmanuel - Royal Museum for Central Africa ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/9/2012-31/3/2014
  • Prof. dr.  VASTENHOUD Chris - Royal Museums for Art and History ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/9/2012-31/3/2014
  • Dr.  BUELINCKX Erik - Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/9/2012-31/3/2014

Description :

To preserve, to study and to present collections are three important principles of any museum. The technological developments as well as the evolution of the public interest, step by step transformed the possibilities and the answers to the various challenges which museum institutions are facing.

Firstly, technological development means that there are more requests for destructive sampling for analysis which require a "backup" of the collection specimen before its destruction. This evolution of practice also means that new material doesn't often make it into the physical collections of scientific institutions

Secondly, after analysis, most of the material has to be repatriated to the country of origin.
Thirdly, we have to consider that precious artefacts can be destroyed in human and natural catastrophes and thus need to be preserved.

Finally, the expectations of the public have increased and there is a large demand for more information and new and innovative media.

High Resolution digitization can solve these problems by allowing:

1. to create a virtual object with the highest possible resolution in order to preserve the original data of the specimen;
2. to increase the collections in terms of quantity and scientific value;
3. to continue to have access to the repatriated specimens for scientific studies;
4. to create physical reproductions for display in the Museums.

This is the starting point of the Agora3D. The Agora 3D consortium is composed of 4 Belgian federal scientific institutions from BELSPO. The institutions involved in the project are:

1. The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences;
2. The Royal Museum of Central Africa;
3. The Royal Museums of Art and History;
4. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage.

The Agora 3D project aim to establish the best protocols of digitization of the natural history and cultural heritage collections using a large spectra of case studies. All Agora 3D partners are already involved in other national or European projects using High Resolution digitization.

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