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Tor Art Clones the Marbles of the Parthenon



The fragment of the Parthenon frieze exhibited on Tuesday evening at the Freud Museum in London was created by the robots of TorArt. Specifically, it is the 'Horse of Selene', a perfect clone that reproduces in all its splendor the fragment of the Parthenon displayed at the British Museum. To create it, a covert operation was necessary, involving infiltrators in the museum who captured images and details of the fragment with cell phones and tablets.

The acquired images were used to command the robots of the Apuan company, which handled the reproduction. The installation presented in the Hampstead house-museum precedes two exhibitions that next year will explore the figure of Sigmund Freud: one as a collector of antiquities and one on his personal exploration of the Acropolis in 1904. The clone of the Horse of Selene stems from a curious story. The Institute of Digital Archaeology had offered it to the British Museum, but the museum refused it, so this organization founded by the American Roger Michel decided to exhibit at the Freud Museum in London the Pentelic marble version of one of the reliefs cloned in Carrara. TorArt, the high-tech company in Carrara, is not new to these reproductions, indeed, also on behalf of the Ida, it reproduced the Arch of Palmyra destroyed in 2015 by Isis. For the Horse of Selene, Tor Art based itself on the 3D scans made at the British Museum by the Institute of Digital Archaeology.

The British museum, however, had not authorized the scans, so Michel and a collaborator went ahead anyway with the complicity of the gallery surveillance staff, who filmed the fragment with the latest generation iPads and iPhones. And now there's talk of a new step, this time at the Louvre with the metope of the battle between Centaurs and Lapiths, also made at the TorArt headquarters in Carrara. Claimed by Greece, the Parthenon friezes have been at the British Museum since 1817. For the Freud Museum, entering the dispute is not without meaning, as its web page reads: "Britain's custody of the reliefs embodies a psychologically complex story of obsession, possession, and assimilation that has not yet found a solution. Perhaps these perfect copies will offer a way out?". The marbles were dismantled and brought to Britain, under the pretext of saving them from destruction, by a Scottish nobleman, the then envoy to the court of Constantinople Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin. Greece has been demanding their return for years, and according to Michel, negotiations are making progress: "A reasonable agreement is under discussion and the negotiation is continuing with the idea of closing before the Greek elections in 2023," said the director of the Ida to the newspaper 'The National'. "The truth is that the British will have to return a lot of things - and it's nice to think that a dispute that has been going on for 200 years can be resolved with the help of technology".

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