Greece partners with Microsoft to digitally preserve ancient Olympia

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Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sport and Microsoft have announced the ‘Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds‘ initiative, a new collaboration to digitally preserve and restore ancient Olympia.

The program at ancient Olympia harnesses augmented reality technology that designers say has the potential to transform education, business and entertainment.

The culture ministry helped Microsoft map and build virtual representations at Olympia, the original site of the Olympic Games.

The image of an ancient temple is reflected on a mixed-reality HoloLens headset worn by museum technician Kostas Baskakis as a projection of Ancient Olympia is seen in the background at the Olympic Museum in Athens. Photo: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis.

“It’s a milestone… that helped us bring technology and culture and history together so we can preserve it,” Microsoft President, Brad Smith, said in a video message at the launch event.

Users can tour the site remotely or in person with an online presentation and an augmented-like mobile app at Olympia, seeing a virtual re-creation of temples and competition areas as they walk through the ruins.

At the Olympic Museum in Athens, they can use Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens headsets that overlay visual information on top of what the viewer sees.

“[It is] a unique collaboration with Microsoft that is harnessing the power of tech and opening up a completely new way of experiencing what our cultural heritage is all about. It’s incredible,” Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said on Twitter after the launch.

Microsoft started the project 18 months ago, scouring Olympia with drones and sensors, after reaching an agreement with the Greek government to build three data centers in greater Athens in an investment to reach up to $1 billion.

Source: AP News.

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