The Archetypes Burst In — my talk at REAL2016

This is my presentation from March 8, 2016, at the REAL2016 conference on 3D scanning.

My talk was about how people have made use of the scans I’ve shared, and on museums that aren’t sharing their 3D data.

Related, here’s my investigation of The New York Times story on the fake Nefertiti 3D scan heist: The Nefertiti 3D Scan Heist Is A Hoax. (It’s not only related, I published it the morning I gave this talk.)

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The Nefertiti 3D Scan Heist Is A Hoax

Update March 15, 2016: After this investigation was reported by multiple news outlets, including Smithsonian Magazine, Popular Science, InstapunditThe Daily Dot, Kotaku, Digital Trends, Fusion,  Gizmodo, Hyperallergic, MentalflossBoingBoing, and ARTFIXdaily, on March 10, 2016 The New York Times published a follow-up story: Nefertiti 3-D Scanning Project in Germany Raises Doubts. -CW


The New York Times’ March 1, 2016 story “Swiping a Priceless Antiquity … With a Scanner and a 3-D Printer” by Charly Wilder tells how two German artists made a surreptitious, unauthorized 3D scan of the iconic bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum in Berlin.

The artists, Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, make a case for repatriating artifacts to their native countries and use Nefertiti as their focal point. They also point out that the Neues Museum has made its own high-quality 3D scan of the bust, and that the museum should share that data with the public. As a protest, they released their own scan to the public, and the quality of their scan is extraordinary.

The story has received a great deal of attention and Al-badri and Nelles have earned much praise for their efforts to digitally repatriate important cultural artifacts. Unfortunately, there are serious problems with their story and The Times’ account.

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The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

20150414 Man In High Castle Map 670px
Last year for Veterans Day I wrote about my Russian-born grandfather, Boris Krass, a US Army intelligence officer during WWII. In 1944 he interviewed hundreds of Russian slave-laborers whom the Allies had recently liberated from Nazi labor camps. He found hate for the Nazis, hangings, black markets, sabotage, murders, Russian prisoners all but abandoned by the USSR, and calculating Germans hedging their bets by passing information to their captives. You can read his secret report to the Army and OSS here.

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3D Scanning and Museum Access

3D Scanning and Museum Access

I’ve posted an online adaptation of my recent presentation to the California Association of Museum’s 2015 conference panel on access.

I advocate that museums begin freely publishing the many archival-quality 3D scans they’ve been accumulating for over a decade, but have not been sharing. I list examples of of the world’s cultural heritage that have already been digitized, but are currently locked up inside museums’ and universities’ research labs.

Copyfraud with Michelangelo’s Moses

This Slate article by Ariel Bogle mentions my work in the context of Augustana College and the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota committing copyfraud by purporting to have a copyright interest in a bronze cast of Michelangelo’s Moses: Good News: Replicas of 16th-Century Sculptures Are Not Off-Limits for 3-D Printers

What a work for a college and city government’s legal council to get wrong—not just Moses, but Moses holding the law.

The Getty Caligula Published

20150104 Getty Caligula by Cosmo Wenman 2

“Although he is now a god, he is still the same lovable young man we’ve always known. I can attest to that. And to enable his relationships with all of us to continue exactly as they were, he has decided, for convenience, to retain his mortal form. Oh and by the way his sister Drusilla’s become a godess. Any questions?” —Macro, in the BBC’s I, Claudius

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