RETOLD: Going Digital in the Largest Open-Air Museum in Romania

Early Spring 2023, we spent a short week in Sibiu, to discuss going digital with open-air museums. The Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA is one of the largest of this kind of museums in Central and East Europe, counting over 300 houses. The idea of the museum goes back to the end of the 19 th century. Originally they started with installations like for example wind and water mills.

The RETOLD project is in its third year now, so we used the chance to visit Romania and discuss every aspect of documenting, digitising and sharing of the stories of open-air museums. The tools we develop will be available to all open-air museums worldwide.

We started with a simple but revealing SWOT analysis and discussion on the digital maturity of our kind of museums, their staff, and visitors. Our colleagues from Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, together with the ones from Nüwa showed us a prototype of the app for documenting museums. Goal was to try this out and give feedback on it. The look and feel was very promising and who knew that 3D models could be so useful and easy to produce? Nüwa spent a good amount of time on explaining the 3D software which runs on a simple mobile phone. Before you know it, you made a photogrammetric 3D model of a house, a cup or a person! Luckily, we also got to see the ASTRA museum, with its over 12 kilometres of road. Special thanks go to the craft demonstrations (pottery, spinning and weaving) which offered their own documentation challenges we will need to solve. We still have about 18 months to get there.

Check out to follow the project.