EU project digitizes Pinzel’s sculptures in 3D format

Sculptures of baroque sculptor Johann Georg Pinsel decorate the facade of St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv and other cultural heritage buildings in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions. The EU programme Culture Bridges co-finances the Pinsel_AR project to digitize his works in the Lviv Museum for everyone to see. Future plans include scanning the sculptor’s heritage in Ukraine and abroad.

Soon, not just Lviv’s residents and visitors but also connoisseurs of art around the world will be able to enjoy the viewing of the masterpieces of baroque sculpture created by Johann Georg Pinsel. For that, we have to thank the initiators of Рinsel_AR project aimed to present the sculptor’s legacy in an accessible, interesting and contemporary form using the latest achievements of augmented reality technology.

Presently, the Pinsel Museum staff is working on scanning the sculptures. Simultaneously, the team is finalizing the concept, functional and design of the project’s website and mobile apps. In late November, the website’s beta version will be opened for users. Therefore, after a year’s work, Рinsel_AR is now ready to present the sculptor’s legacy in a new reality.

For the first time, users across the globe will be able to view and turn by 360 degrees the models of Johann Georg Pinsel’s sculptures. Even visitors to Pinsel Museum will have something to be surprised at, for they will have a chance to see the usually hidden other side of his works.

Using innovative technologies, the Pinsel_AR team is working on the models of Pinsel’s sculptures. It is worth noting that the extreme preciseness and accuracy achieved during data post-processing even partially surpass the capabilities of today’s equipment. Therefore, the models are kept for the future, being separately processed as they have to be simplified in order to adapt them for mobile apps and 3D printing. Still, the authors of this idea are confident: thanks to quality digitalization, Pinsel’s works may soon become a part of media art projects and enter the context of contemporary art.

Upon completion of the first phase, the Pinsel_AR team is going to scan Johann Georg Pinsel’s other sculptures existing in Lviv. In order to process all sculptures available in our city, the project is going to engage even more equipment. In particular, drones will be used to get the image of works adoring the city’s architectural landmarks, for example, Saint George’s Cathedral.


In 2019, the project will be expanded by covering the neighboring Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil Oblasts. Moreover, the Pinsel_AR team has ambitious plans of scanning the sculptor’s entire legacy located both in Ukraine and abroad.

Today, the world’s leading museums are actively working on digitalizing their stock, which is quite understandable and justifiable, because collections presented on the Internet popularize art and enlarge the museum audience.

“We follow global trends. Thus, scanned works from the Louvre, British Museum or Art History Museum Vienna are already publicly accessible, and this list of examples can be continued. It is important that now, this list will also contain Pinsel’s sculptures”, Pinsel_AR organizers say. “This is a precedent: it is a Lviv museum, Borys Voznytskyi Lviv Art Gallery that becomes the first in Ukraine to present its collection online in the digital format”.

In the nearest future, high-quality 3D models will help solve important exhibition-related problems, such as exhibiting without incurring transportation costs or the risk of damage.

“Unfortunately, history forces us to learn from mistakes. The fire in the National Museum of Brazil, barbaric destruction of Buddha statues in the Bamyan Valley – these examples of losing cultural heritage for one reason or another necessitate “conservation” of landmarks in various ways like never before”, the Pinsel_AR organizers add.

Inclusion is another important element of the latest museum practices. Pinsel’s sculptural legacy will become accessible by people with impaired vision thanks to reproduction of models of sculptures or their certain parts on a 3D printer.

The organizers of Pinsel_AR project are Dialogue Artistic Council and Borys Voznytskyi Lviv National Art Gallery. This project is being implemented with the support from the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, Culture Bridges program and the Culture Department of Lviv City Council.

By Marichka Ilyina

Source – Lviv Post