Inaugurated in the Vatican Museums on 4 April 2013, this virtual reality installation is dedicated to the reconstruction of the famous Regolini-Galassi Tomb of Cerveteri (Room II).
The installation was developed as part of the European Etruscanning project (Framework Culture 2007), with the objective of experimenting with innovative techniques for the digitisation of Etruscan funerary contexts and communicating them to a wider public.
The monumental structure of the tomb in the necropolis of Sorbo at Cerveteri, entrusted to the guardianship of the Italian state, is not currently accessible to the public. The reconstructed virtual environment is shown with the grave goods inside, as they appeared to their discoverers. The application enables an immersive exploration of the tomb with the artefacts repositioned inside, while a dynamic menu allows the individual objects to be animated and to tell their own stories in a fictional time and space. All this is achieved without the use of instrumental commands, simply through movement of the body.
At the beginning of the exploration the two deceased persons appear as narrative voices and welcome the visitor, explaining who and where they are.
The original soundtrack combines ancient sounds with contemporary musical language, with evocative rather than philological intentions.
The Etruscanning project is the result of cooperation between several institutions and professions: Allard Pierson, Museum of Amsterdam, co-ordinator of the project; National Museum for Antiquities of Leiden; Gallo-Roman Museum of Tongeren, Belgium; CNR-ITABC (National Council for Research – Institute for Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage), Rome, for the planning and production of the application; Visual Dimension of Ename, Belgium, for digitisation, preliminary research and digital restoration of the grave goods; and the company E.V.O.CA., software and music.