Ara Pacis - The Ara as it was

Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l.

  • Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l.
  • Graphic Design
  • 3D Production
  • Content Production
  • Video Production
  • Digital Strategy
  • Interactive installation

The first systematic enhancement in augmented reality and virtual reality of one of the most important masterpieces of Roman art.

History and technology meet for an immersive multisensory , visit to the Ara Pacis. The Ara as it was is the first systematic intervention of augmented and virtual reality enhancement of the cultural heritage of Roma Capitale, specifically of one of the most important masterpieces of Roman art, built between 13 and 9 B.C. to celebrate the Peace established by Augustus on the territories of the empire.

By superimposing virtual elements on visual perception, it will be possible to watch a multimedia narrative, understand the original appearance and function of the altar and observe the transformations of the northern Campus Martius, the area of Rome chosen by Augustus to celebrate his power.



An immersive experience in the History of Roman Art

Visitors can now assist to the storytelling about Ara Pacis and Origins of Romefurther made more innovative and exciting thanks to two new insights in virtual reality that, by combining live video productions , 3D reconstructions and computer graphics, offer visitors a complete immersion in the ancient Campus Martius in the north and the possibility of witnessing the first virtual reality reconstruction of a sacrificial ceremony.

To increase the effectiveness and immersiveness of the entire experience, an augmented reality system using the most advanced computer vision algorithms was employed.

The system recognises the three-dimensionality of the bas-reliefs and sculptural objects framed by the camera and, by tracking them in real time, enables the triggering of augmented reality content.

The augmented contents (colours) thus appear realistically ‘anchored’ in three dimensions to the real objects.

immagine del video 360 realizzato da ETT per l'Ara com'era
ricostruzione a colori di una parte dell'ara pacis

9 are the points of interest (POI) of the visit. POIs 1 and 2 consist of a combination of film, virtual reality and immersive technologies that come together to create a fascinating experience.

Visitors are greeted by a 360° panoramic view of the Ara Pacis as it appears today. The monument appears in its original colours in the presence of Emperor Augustus, the exclusive guide of this journey of discovery through the Campus Martius. Thanks to the 3D reconstruction of a bird’s eye view, visitors can fly over the Pantheon, the Saepta Julia (the voting area), the Mausoleum of Augustus and the aqueduct. After the flyover, Augustus accompanies visitors to the original, full-colour version of the Ara Pacis to witness a sacrificial rite, reconstructed in 3D and computer graphics and performed by real actors.
According to the tradition of the time, in fact, the entrails of the immolated victim, after being read and interpreted, were offered to the deity. The model of the monument will also show the transformations and damage that the altar underwent over the centuries, from its construction to its total disappearance under thick layers of soil on which the buildings of medieval and Renaissance Rome were built.

Casts depicting members of the imperial family will expose the mechanisms of power and intrigue that enabled the Julio-Claudian dynasty to rule Rome for so long.

Finally, the details of theara pacis will be observed. The mythical past of the Urbe will come to life through the restitution of the colour on the monument’s marble, reconstructed hypothetically but with the maximum approximation allowed, on the basis of a study and experimentation carried out by the Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage over more than a decade.

From reliefs depicting the sacrifice of Enea to those with the birth of Romulus and Remus, characters, gestures, gods and animals illustrate the origins of Rome and the family of Augustus.

By observing the various restorations on the slabs with depictions of deacons acing the Tiber embankment, it will be possible to retrace the complex vicissitudes the monument has undergone in modern times. From their discovery in the 16th century to their transport to Florence to the reassembly of all fragments shortly before the Second World War.

We will then move on to admire the goddess Tellus, bringer of prosperity, and the goddess Roma, sitting on the weapons of the vanquished, two images representative of the world transformed by Augustan peace. Here, colour makes clear the functions and meanings of the characters and objects represented.

Also rich in symbols is the splendid plant frieze composed of a multitude of plants growing from acanthus bushes, a symbol of immortality. Through the colouring of the panel below the painting of the goddess Roma, an orderly and luxuriant nature, inhabited by animals and insects, can be interpreted in the same way as the ancient Romans, who were invited to forget the horrors of war in this lush garden.

At the end of the route, along the procession now heading towards the Mausoleum, among the augurs,the lictors, the priests, Augustus appears followed by his family. The solemn procession accompanies the emperor, surrounds him and protects him as he makes the sacred gesture. Here we find not the simple representation of a state ritual, but the image of the present and future of Rome living through its institutions, Augustus and his family, including the children, all represented together for the first time in history on a public monument.

locandina del'Ara com'era, progetto di ett, su una pensilina dell'autobus

Archaeology becomes contemporary and finally uses current language

Claudio Parisi PresicceDirettore Direzione Musei archeologici e storico-artistici di Roma Capitale

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