Digital technology lights up Temple of Dendur at the Metropolotian Museum of Art

International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
March 5, 2016

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will employ digital lighting technology to mimic the colours that probably decorated an ancient Egyptian temple when it was built 2,000 years ago.
As it is the case for many ancient monuments, the original colours have been long lost and it is hoped that the new lighting display will give visitors a better insight of what the monument would have looked centuries ago.

The display will be shown for a series of eight weekends lasting throughout the end of March 2016.

The colour display has been created combining scholarly knowledge of specialists in the Egyptian Art Department with the technological expertise of staff in the MediaLab at the Met. The colours that were probably used in antiquity are projected onto a ritual scene carved into the sandstone of the Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing, providing visitors with a new perspective on ancient art. In the selected scene, the Roman emperor Augustus, depicted as a pharaoh, makes an offering to Egyptian deities. Constructed in around 15 B.C., the Temple's external walls have retained no original colour.

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