January 4, 2010 3:01 PM
When you visit most art museums, the art that you see on display represents only a fraction of the museum's actual holdings. The percentage of art holdings that are actually on display in museums around the world is dropping, as the recession forces some museums to move to smaller facilities or to close their doors altogether. Researchers at the University of Brighton, in Sussex, England, want to make art that is being held in storage available for people to see in 3D form, over the Internet. If they succeed, stored art could be viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, indefinitely. The project is called 3D-COFORM, Tools and Enterprise for 3D Collection Formation.
"What you see at any given time in a museum is only the tip of the iceberg," said Professor David Arnold, the project leader. "There are many more things in storage than on display and all these could be recorded and made available for 3D viewing....Everything a museum holds could be available and accessible at almost any time. Virtual handling of the objects is a different challenge but with this technology you'll be able to see details invisible on a visit to the museum." [More]