Naples, March 19, 2021. Dr. Paolo Giulierini, Director of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN), and Dr. Bernard Frischer, Founder and President of Flyover Zone (Bloomington, Indiana, USA; www.flyoverzone.com) today announced the signing of an agreement for a joint project to make 23 sculptures in the MANN’s famous Farnese Collection more accessible and better understood by visitors to the museum and the general public around the world. Among the sculptures that included in the project are the Farnese Bull, the Hercules Farnese, and the Farnese Gladiator.
The sculptures were chosen because their provenience was the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, whose ruins are a major tourist destination in Rome. Flyover Zone will digitize in 3D the sculptures in their current condition, restore them digitally, and put the 3D models of the restored statues into a new digital restoration of the Baths of Caracalla. This restoration of the baths with its sculptural decoration will serve as the environment for a virtual tour of the site the company will develop with experts as part of the company’s “Rome Reborn” project (www.romereborn.org). The virtual tour will be made available by the company for viewing on smartphones (Android, iPhone), tablets (Android, iPad), laptops and PCs (Windows 10 and Macintosh), and VR goggles (HTC Vive and Oculus). The MANN will use the 3D models of the sculptures as well as the virtual tour in the museum and make it available at no cost on its website.
Flyover Zone’s restorations will include the lost colors used to paint the surface of the white marble statues in the Farnese Collection. The evidence for restoring the paint in a scientifically accurate way will be supplied by the museum’s “MANN in Colours” project led by Dr. Cristiana Barandoni.
Dr. Giulierini stated that “we are pleased to enter into this agreement with Flyover Zone. The company is a pioneer in virtualizing cultural heritage monuments and in the increasingly important field of virtual tourism. The results of this project will help the MANN to enhance visitors’ understanding of this collection, which is one of our most important treasures. It will also help the museum to reach people around the world and, we hope, to whet their appetites to travel to Naples to see the originals.
Dr. Frischer said that “this project is a dream come true. The MANN is one of the great museums of the world. We are honored to be selected as the technology partner for this innovative undertaking, which combines advanced 3D data capture, detection of faint traces of color (often invisible to the naked eye), and architectural reconstruction of the Baths of Caracalla, one of the most important surviving monuments of ancient Rome. The virtual tour we will create of of the Baths will take its place next to our other virtual tours taking virtual tourists on trips of time travel to ancient Rome to see the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, and even a flight over the entire city (all 7,000 buildings!) in a hot air balloon.”
Dr. Paolo Giulierini
Director, National Archaeological Museum of Naples