Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign meets new challenges.
THE ART OF DIGITALIZATION APPLIED TO AN ETRUSCAN MASTERPIECE.
Giorgetto Giugiaro, 76, keeps looking for new challenges and he recently saw a new opportunity to close the circle art-technology-art in the 21st century.
The desire to bring to a wider public many of the unique works of art of which Italy has by large the greatest and richest core the world-over is often restricted by the risking of damaging or destroy them.
The issue has been hotly debated once again recently. The argument reached its top when the government ruled that the famous and outstandingly beautiful “Bronzi di Riace” (Riace bronzes, also called the Riace Warriors) cannot not be exhibited at the Milan’s EXPO 2015, as requested by the organizers, because there is too high a risk that they are damaged in transportation.
If the visitors to the Italian exhibit at EXPO 2015 (some 20 millions are expected between May 1st and October 31st next year) will not have the privilege of seeing in person the bronzes, they are likely to admire the artistic talent of the Etruscans who inhabited central Italy between 700 bc and 400 ac, with the superlative “Sarcophagus of the Spouses” made of the fragile terracotta.
Not the original but a perfect reproduction.
The original being scanned.
Indeed they will be witnessing two completely different forms of art that are some 2600 years apart. The original description of a couple sharing the reclining couch at a banquet in theit afterlife can only be seen at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, in Rome on one side. On the opposite side they will contemplate the contemporary art of creatively applying digital technology and super computing applications to reproduce a work of art with the crafts and arts of today’s most talented artisans and artists.
On one side the scientific measurements and high precision of modern scanners and digital 3D engineering grant the perfect cloning of a most complex sculpture shaped in clay by Etruscan hands, on the other side only talented artisans and experienced artists could refine and paint the 2014 clone to look just as the original.
“This clone is perfectly similar to the original one – dr. Alfonsina Russo, in charge of the Etruscan National Museum in Rome, said – the result is so astonishing, it almost moved me! This is a perfect example about modern technology to support ancient art and history. Thus a very unique piece of history can be shown all over the world without any problem”.
A highly sophisticated 5 axles milling machine (normally used to create full-scale models of a new automobile) has been applied to sculpture a mass of solid volume of polyurethane resins that are extremely stable and resistant. As such they offer the extra benefit of being accessible also to those who can see with their hands, as Mr Giugiaro pointed out: «I am very happy and proud of this project. It brings me back to my artistic root, my father and grandfather were painters and art lovers. This new challenge has been a happy bracket in the everyday job but it also represents an innovation in the fruition of art and history: with this clone also blind people will be able to experience it touching it with their hands”.
It all happened because Giugiaro knew it could be done, based on its experience at sculpturing new automobiles and many other products, over almost 60 years, and he wanted to prove how well it can be done.
The challenge came over lunch, as he was discussing his Giosué Giosuè Boetto Cohen of a new exhibition (“The journey after life. The Etruscans and the afterworld between masterpieces and virtual reality”) being organised by Cineca for theMuseo Civico Archeologico di Bologna. The original plan of Mr Boetto Cohen was to exhibit the Sarcophagus through a full scale ologram but when Giugiaro realised that the sculpture had been accurately scanned for the hologram and the data available in the supercomputers of Cineca could be used by Italdesign to build a faithful reproduction of the Sarcophagus, he offered to created an absolutely faithful copy and deliver it on time for the exhibition opening in Bologna tomorrow, on October 25.
At the time of going public Mr. Giugiaro was not available for additional information and comments. We will come back with more as soon as possible.
Click on any image to see the entire Photo Gallery.
 Cineca is a non profit Consortium, made up of 69 Italian universities*, and 3 Institutionscommitted to providing both public and private research with a world class supercomputing facility. It meets and even anticipates the expectations of researchers, creating integrated and efficient computational environments along with high quality service.
Cineca implements High Performance Computing in co-operation with researchers to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Running numerical simulations on supercomputers allows researchers to choose timescales and problem sizes to investigate phenomena which may be otherwise difficult to be studied by experiment, not only in traditional areas of research but also in emerging fields such as biotechnology, nanoscience and biomedicine. In industry, supercomputing reduces time and product development costs by improving quality and competitiveness in the global market.
Cineca also develops and manages content and knowledge management web portals. Its ontology-based solutions allow logical threads to be visualized, and provide the use of conceptual search engines. Its information access services enable users to analyze large volumes of data by means of data- and text-mining technologies, and also to manage efficiently extremely large databases.