Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi and Dr Roger Michel, Executive Director of the Institute for Digital Archaeology. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation will play a vital role in a joint global project to document ancient heritage monuments across the region by taking up to one million digital images of the sites using three-dimensional imaging technology.

For the next two months, the project will be carried out under the supervision of a group of archaeologists from Harvard University and the University of Oxford in cooperation with Unesco.

The foundation said it will build an electronic platform to manage the massive database of archaeological images. It will also distribute 5,000 three-dimensional cameras to partners and volunteers to photograph the heritage sites in the region. Images collected from volunteers and partners will be indexed and kept ready for the 3D printing phase of the project.

Dubai’s Museum of the Future announced the partnership on Wednesday with Unesco and the UK-based Institute for Digital Archaeology (Ida).

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the museum’s deputy chairman and managing director, said, “The civilisation and human heritage of the region must be preserved for the future generations as a global responsibility, taking into account the valuable contributions of the region to the progressive march of humanity.”

“It is important to preserve heritage sites as they serve as a source of inspiration for innovators and pioneers to build the future,” Al Gergawi said. “What we are doing today is part of our efforts to give back to the history of our region and build on the achievements of our rich past.”

Irina Bokova, director-general of Unesco, said: “Extremists want to impose a different vision on the world. They want to tell us that there is no memory, that there is no culture, that there is no heritage.”

Dr Roger Michel, Executive Director of the Institute for Digital Archaeology, said, “With gracious support from the Dubai Museum Of The Future Foundation, the Institute for Digital Archaeology will redouble its efforts to restore to the landscape of the Middle East the great symbols of our shared cultural heritage that have been destroyed or defaced. These symbols — the architecture and objects of the ancient world — speak powerfully to what unites East and West and so are needed now more than ever. The UAE is a great friend of this important work.”

Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation, said the global partnerships comes as a part of the strategic vision of the museum to build long-term cooperation with academic and scientific institutions and research centres in all areas, highlighting the UAE as a progressive nation on the global map.