3D Reproductions of Cultural Heritage Artifacts: Evaluation of Significance and Experience

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Umair Shafqat Malik
Liselore N.M. Tissen
Arnold P.O.S. Vermeeren


3D digitization of cultural heritage has long been used to preserve information about cultural heritage (CH) objects such as architecture, art, and artifacts. 3D dissemination of CH objects through technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D printing have impacted the fields of art history and cultural heritage and have become more common. Yet, studies that go beyond the technical aspects of 3D technology and treat such topics as their significance for restoration, conservation, engagement, education, research, and ethics hardly exist. The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, it aims to get a better understanding of the applicability of each technology for different purposes (education, research, conservation/restoration, and museum presentation), and, on the other hand, it focuses on the perception of these technologies. This research was carried out by combining a literature review with quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data acquired through (1) a questionnaire of eleven questions and (2) a workshop with a group of specialists and non-specialists who were asked to brainstorm about the different uses of the 3D technologies and their applicability to their areas of work and research. Based on the analysis of these quantitative and qualitative data, we provide some criteria for using 3D digitized and printed reproductions to enhance cultural experiences. The results demonstrate the importance of carefully designing 3D interactions in the personal and cultural contexts of end-users and cultural institutions in order to create authentic cultural experiences.


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Malik, U. S., Tissen, L., & Vermeeren, A. (2021). 3D Reproductions of Cultural Heritage Artifacts: Evaluation of Significance and Experience. Studies in Digital Heritage, 5(1), 1–29. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v5i1.32323
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