WASHINGTON—A new international partnership will bring together Yerevan’s Tumo Center for Creative Technologies with CyArk, an international digital heritage preservation non-profit organization, to train students in 3D capture technologies through a series of workshops in Yerevan. Through this initiative, Armenian students from Tumo will learn how to use cutting-edge laser scanning technology to preserve historic Armenian heritage sites.
This partnership is an unprecedented initiative within CyArk’s 500 Challenge, the race to digitally preserve 500 heritage sites over five years’ time. The CyArk 500 is an international effort, but the Republic of Armenia will be the first country to participate by engaging and training their youth to take the leadership role in documenting and providing virtual access to Armenia’s heritage sites.
The ancient Armenian monastery of Geghard will be the first site to be digitally documented and converted into detailed 3D models. These models will then be transferred into an online interactive platform serving as a virtual pilgrimage experience for students and researchers alike. After the initial workshop and training with Tumo students, the project aims to continue scanning and documenting at least ten additional historic Armenian monuments and sites and to include them in the CyArk 500 Challenge.
CyArk and Tumo are working together to secure the necessary funding to obtain the technology and provide initial training in digital heritage preservation. The kick-off of this ambitious initiative will take place at a fundraiser on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, at the Embassy of Armenia to the United States in Washington, D.C.
“It is exciting to be able to bring these highly technical skills to Tumo’s students while also being able to create an online virtual pilgrimage experience for Armenians around the world,” stated Marie Lou Papazian, managing director of Tumo.
“In my new capacity as the Ambassador of Armenia to the United States, I fully support Tumo’s new initiative as I strongly believe that incorporating new technology into the education of our youth is imperative for our nation’s future,” said His Excellency Amb. Tigran Sargsyan.
“CyArk is thrilled to train Armenian students to digitize their own heritage and build a digital record of these incredible heritage sites securely archived and incorporated into the CyArk 500,” remarked Elizabeth Lee, Vice President of CyArk.
“It is inspiring to see Armenian youth using technology to tell the stories of these ancient and deeply meaningful places,” remarked Katherine Sarafian, Oscar-winning producer at Pixar Animation Studios. “I am so honored to serve on the Boards of both Tumo and CyArk, two organizations that bring technology, artistry and history together in compelling and important ways.”
To learn more about the Tumo/CyArk initiative and the Embassy event, visit armenia3d.org
Tumo is a non-profit venture and participation in the Tumo program is free of charge and open to all local teenagers. Tumo helps Armenian youth develop 21st century skills in order to prevent emigration and build capable members of Armenia’s future work force. For more information, visit tumo.org.
CyArk is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost. For more information, visit cyark.org.