The Point: The Museum of Without
By Dane Mitchell
In July 2022, The New York Times published an article by Franz Lidz titled “The Robot Guerrilla Campaign to Recreate the Elgin Marbles.” The text outlined a project of the Institute of Digital Archaeology, a University of Oxford-based research group. Using photogrammetry software on multiple iPhones and iPads, researchers clandestinely scanned some of the Elgin Marbles (from here on I’ll call these the Parthenon Marbles) at the British Museum. Their sole motivation is to replicate these classical Greek sculptures so that the originals may be returned to Greece, leaving the British Museum with life-size facsimiles to be consumed by its audience. Drawing on the group’s data, replica Parthenon Marbles are being carved by a technological hand.