The British Museum is facing legal action after denying the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) to take 3D scans of the Parthenon Sculptures.
The IDA, one of the UK’s top organizations for heritage preservation, revealed on Wednesday that it would serve the museum an injunction to order the museum to greenlight the 3D scans.
The scans could be used to program a “robot sculptor” to carve replicas of the precious sculptures, potentially providing a solution to the dispute between Greece and the British Museum over the ownership of the marbles. The replicas could stay in the U.K. while the original Parthenon Marbles could be returned back to Greece.“We will be filing a complaint by the end of the week requesting the court to order the British Museum to grant our request…We want them to treat our application in exactly the same fashion that they would treat similar requests. Their refusal has been capricious and arbitrary,” Roger Michel, Executive Director of IDA, reported to The Guardian.
Experts from the Oxford-based IDA hope that replica Pentelic marble sculptures can be created with metal chisels, in much the same way the sculptures were created by the ancient Greek architect Phidias around 447–438 BC.
The copies created from the scans would be nearly identical to the original marbles.