Analysis of scope and expected benefit for the participant organizations

The project coordinator, THETIS authentics Ltd (P1), is a SME that has been engaged commercially in the technologically authentic revival and reproduction of classical Attic ceramics using previous research results and knowhow. However the high cost of museum quality reproductions of important vases implies a very limited market, essentially addressing special projects for the Greek Ministry of Culture/Archaeological Service such as the exhibitions of local excavation finds at several Athens metro stations (Acropolis, Aigaleo, Daphni, Holargos etc) and artifacts for international exhibitions such as for the new Acropolis Museum in Beijing (Olympic Games June-July 2008) and in New York (Columbia University, September 2009). In addition special orders for gifts to official State visitors have been executed occasionally. A small vase collection has been produced by P1 for University Classics Departments in New Zealand (Massey University, August 2010) and in Canada and forms part of their educational collection.

Certain simple artifacts are also being produced by P1 for sale at museum shops (Benaki, Cycladic Art, Acropolis, Archaeological Receipts Fund). The aim of the present proposal is to increase the market reach for museum quality reproductions through a significant cost reduction without compromising the quality and the authenticity of the materials used. Indicatively at present the direct cost (essentially labour) of producing a Panathenaic Amphora (height 50-60 cm) is approximately 700 euro and the aim is to bring this down to to less than 150 euro. The same applies to a smaller hydria (height 25-35 cm) with more elaborate black figure decoration. This cost reduction combined with the multimedia presentation to museum visitors highlighting the importance and advanced level of technology in classical Attic pottery constitutes a very important ingredient in an overall marketing strategy for museum shops that directly benefits both the producer and the museum finances.

The National Centre for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS” (P2), has been engaged in non destructive analytical research of cultural artefacts using in house ion beam and XRF facilities. In addition it has been involved in depth with various aspects of 3D image processing for research purposes because of the need to reconstruct complex events involving thousands of tracks of particles produced following high energy particle collisions. Similarly “DEMOKRITOS” (P2) has been developing 3D printing techniques in order to satisfy research needs such as the production of prototype components for the external beam lines of the local Tandem Accelerator. The present proposal, if successful, will provide an opportunity apply this knowhow in a collaborative project with SME’s.

TOOL Ltd (P3) is a SME that has already collaborated in outreach activityies with major Museums (Benaki Museum, Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, Goulandris Natural History Museum, Archaeological Museum of Nafplion). TOOL Ltd will benefit from the collaboration with P1 and P2 and will have the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience of an important Museum environment that will significantly improve the quality of future, similar projects.