(Independent, Bologna, Italy)

Keywords: VR, 900, 3D, reconstruction, interactive

In the research presented here, the effort of going behind a series of technical issues about Virtual Reality is focused on very controversial subject: the half-built and abandoned Ciano’s Mausoleum in Livorno that despite dating less than 80 years, is indeed a modern “ruin”. Its situation allowed to bypass any philological speculation and to focus the effort on survey, data-processing, cross-validation with project designs and virtual reconstruction. The Ciano Mausoleum reconstruction was not only chosen for such technical purposes since it is also significant at an epistemological level. Ciano was a popular WWI hero, an early participant to the National Fascist Party and one of its key leaders. He died in 1939, and the building of the Mausoleum had been most of all functional to Fascist. The building is still looming on the top of a hill. It is a relevant part of Livorno built heritage. Should it be treated as a valueless block of stone and concrete to be demolished, or as a neutral product of a precise historic period and preserved? By surveying its material consistence, digitalizing and comparing it with the original designs means not only to get to a reconstruction that is based on facts, or to obtain the well-known benefits of digitalized archaeological data in terms of accessibility and communicability, but also to bypass a cultural impasse. A virtual reconstruction indeed does not imply any kind of preliminary intervention on the artefact and resides on a far more manageable level than the one of physical interaction. Furthermore, since the 3D reconstruction is proposed in the form of an interactive videogame, the experience could easily be integrated with augmented content such as comments, didactic comments, or by any additional feature that could funnel the experience in any desired direction, preventing misuses or misinterpretations.

Relevance for the conference: Data are almost meaningless if they aren’t accessible, and modern technologies such as personal/portable VR devices are an unprecedented chance to bring archaeological reconstructions to a wide audience
Relevance for the session: Digitalization and reconstruction can be a way to preserve any culturally neutral significance embedded in items that are symbols of recent problematic past.
Innovation: Interactive 3D reconstructions derivated from complex raw survey data greatly amplifies the reach of those data by improving user experiences, expecially for the wide audience of profanes
• “Virtual reality and archaeological reconstruction: be there, back then.” MW17: MW 2017. Published February 14, 2017. Consulted July 10, 2018.
• Bakker: G. F. Meulenberg; J. de Rode 2003 “Truth and credibility as a double ambition: reconstruction of the built past, experiences and dilemmas.” The Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation Volume 14, Issue 3 pp.159-167 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.