The structure off the Greek Acropolis has stood over Athens for more than two millennia , Source: Leonhard Niederwimmer / Pixabay

AR app lets people see the Acropolis as it was in ancient times

AR app lets people see the Acropolis as it was in ancient times

The new tech development brings Ancient Greek heritage into the digital age

Last week, the Greek Cosmote Telecommunications launched a new app that brings iconic cultural heritage sites in Athens, such as the Acropolis and Parthenon, back to life in their real locations in an augmented reality (AR) experience. The app uses Artificial Intelligence and VR technology to recreate these cultural monuments as they were in ancient times.

The app is already available for Android and iOS and functions in both English and Greek. Moreover, it is free of charge to make it appealing to as many curious visitors as possible.

Painted sculptures

A very unique feature of the so-called Cosmote Chronos app is that it recreates heritage sites as they would have looked in Antiquity. One striking difference visitors may notice is how colourful statues in Ancient Greece were – a stark contrast to the white marble ruins the public has grown accustomed to.

Yes – that’s right – the ancient Greeks loved to paint beautiful marble statues and frescoes in garish colours. The paint has disappeared over the ages and the statues nowadays are perceived to have always looked like this.

Modern imagining of how classical statues may have been coloured,
Source: Sheila1988 on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Bringing the past back to life

'Cosmote Chronos' combines the capabilities of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), which are all enabled on a smartphone thanks to a fast and reliable 5G network.

The locations featured in the app include the Parthenon, the sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia and the Chalkotheke. It also features the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the monuments of the southern slope of the Acropolis, viewed from the Acropolis Museum as well as the Parthenon sculptures exhibited in the museum.

The app can be used live on location with a 'point-and-view' function when people visit the sites or it can be used at home. According to an official statement, Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni, this has increased the Acropolis’ accessibility and helped the heritage of Ancient Greece extend to the digital realm.



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