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Sculpture in Context – Perspectives of a Virtual Recontextualization

Exhibition Opening of Ancient Cast Collection at Freie Universität Berlin on May 11, 2017

№ 112/2017 from May 10, 2017

An exhibition of sculptures in an architectural context will open on May 11, 2017, in the Cast Collection of Ancient Sculptures. Using casts of ancient sculptures and reconstructions of individual spatial constructions in images, five examples show how sculptures were integrated in their respective architectural context in antiquity. As part of the exhibition, there is a short film illustrating the possibilities of a 3D visualization of the ancient city of Pergamon, in which individual sculptures were scanned. The exhibition will be on display from May 12 through July 2, 2017, during the regular opening hours of the cast collection. Both the exhibition and the exhibition opening are public, and admission is free.

"Greek and Roman sculptures were components of religious, political, and other social practices," says Prof. Dr. Lorenz Winkler-Horaček from the Institute of Classical Archaeology at Freie Universität Berlin, who organized the exhibition. They belonged to the furnishing of temples, outdoor plazas, villas, and palaces, among various other functions. The sculptures formed a unity with the surrounding architecture, which they influenced, while also being influenced by the surrounding buildings. This spatial connection has largely disappeared. "Nowadays, we usually view these sculptures in museums and travel separately to the locations where they stood," says Lorenz Winkler-Horaček.

The 3D visualization of the city of Pergamon was developed by scholars at the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus (today Cottbus-Senftenberg) under the direction of Dominik Lengyel and Catherine Toulouse in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute, Istanbul Division, within a project sponsored from 2009 to 2012 by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project was called "The Berlin Sculpture Network – Contextualization and Translation of Ancient Sculptures." 3D scans of selected statues in Pergamon were integrated into a model of the city. "3D visualization is a multifunctional research tool that allows the viewer to assume different points of view within the city, and to draw conclusions about the spatial interplay of sculpture and architecture," says Dominik Lengyel. Using this tool it is possible to visually implement and test research findings about the placement of statues. Other participants were the Karlsruhe University of Applied Science and the Ancient Collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Further Information

Time and Location

  • Opening: Thursday, May 11, 2017, 7 p.m.
  • Exhibition: Friday, May 12 to Sunday, July 2, 2017, open Thursday through Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Cast Collection: Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik Berlin, Schloßstraße 69 b, 14059 Berlin.


Prof. Dr. Lorenz Winkler-Horaček, Institute of Classical Archaeology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 8385-3714/2, Email: lwh@zedat.fu-berlin.de