THREE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
THREE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
“With a VR headset on, you suddenly find yourself in a secret art storage. In a tunnel, a kilometre underground, you’re all of a sudden eye-to-eye with a stolen Rembrandt. How did it end up there?”
HISTORY COMES ALIVE THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY
Blueplanet VR provided all the central photogrammetry and digital set design for the exhibition’s ambitious VR experiences – the Quadriga monument at the top of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, a tunnel used by the Nazis to store looted art, and a Hindu temple on Bali that was the site of a massacre and looting of ceremonial objects.
Visitors to the exhibition encounter three assemblages of objects, three video installations and three virtual reality experiences, which enable the visitors to experience three of the locations as if they were actually there.
All three locations were professionally scanned in ultra-high resolution, and the resulting 3D scenes were extensively edited and post-produced for historical accuracy before being prepared for real-time navigation in Unity.
TEN STORIES ABOUT LOOTED ART
Curated and directed by Jongsma + O’Neill, Loot: 10 stories uses next-generation storytelling techniques to explore the topic of looted art and restitution in an innovative exhibition featuring original objects, physical and digital replicas, and film and virtual reality experiences, immersing visitors in the compelling stories of looted art from three periods in history: art looted in the colonial period, art looted by French in 1795 and art stolen from its Jewish owners by the Nazis.
Featuring ten case studies explore the past and future of objects in the collections of the Mauritshuis, three Berlin museums (Ethnologisches Museum, Stadtmuseum and Gipsformerei), and the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Rennes, France). Loot opened at the Mauritshuis in den Haag in September 2023 before moving to the Humboldt Forum in Berlin in 2024.
THE QUADRIGA, BRANDENBURG GATE, BERLIN
EXPERIENCE NAPOLEON’S ARMY IN VIRTUAL REALITY
Commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia in 1788, the horse-drawn chariot had only been on the city gate for 13 years it was taken to France as a trophy in 1806. Following Napoleon’s surrender in 1814, the horses and carriage returned to Berlin, where their return was celebrated. The original Quadriga was damaged duing WWII, and only a stallion’s head remains of the original artwork.
In the VR experience, you find yourself at the top of the Brandenburg Gate to witness Napoleon’s troops entering the city for their victory parade.
The VR model was created from drone footage using photogrammetry in reality Capture, which was heavily optimized, refined and augmented in Maya before being brought into Unity for the real-time virtual reality experience.
CLICK AND DRAG TO EXPLORE A PRODUCTION DRAFT 360 PANORAMA
THE TEMPLE OF GOA LAWAH, BALI
BRINGING TO LIFE A TRAGEDY AT A SACRED HINDU SITE
This VR experience takes you to the temple of Goa Lawah, on the Indonesian island of Bali, in the aftermath of a battle.
The Third Bali War of 1849 followed two earlier wars in the northern region of Bali. The Netherlands used the supposed plundering by the Balinese of Dutch ships as an excuse for an attempt to violently subject the whole island to Dutch rule.
Once the northern part of Bali had been taken, the Dutch army turned the focus of its to the southern kingdom of Klungkung. Troops left the coast at Padangbai and passed the Hindu temple complex of Goa Lawah, where they killed hundreds of Balinese people in battle and likely looted ceremonial objects such as Kris daggers.
Klungkung held out until 1908 when, with much bloodshed, it was the last kingdom of Bali to become part of the colony of the Dutch East Indies.
CLICK AND DRAG TO EXPLORE 360 PANORAMA FROM VR HEADSET
THE SIEGEN MINES, AUSTRIA
PRICELESS STOLEN ART HIDDEN DEEP UNDERGROUND
This VR experience enables you to see a self-portrait by Rembrandt which was discovered in a salt mine in Austria in 1945, hidden there by Nazi Gemany together with thousands of other priceless artworks stolen from Jewish citizens and institutions from occupied countries.
Hitler’s staff had stored around 6,500 works of art in this salt mine, including masterpieces such as the Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers and Vermeer’s Astronomer.
All works were meant for the Führer Museum that Hitler was planning to build in his birthplace Linz; the museum was never realised.
When Hitler was about to lose the war, the nazis came up with a plan to destroy the treasures they had stolen. The brave miners that you see in the VR experience managed to move the bombs just in time and save the art.
Eventually, many stolen works were recovered thanks to the ‘Monuments Men’, a group of the Allies with knowledge of art.
After the war, Rembrandt’s self-portrait was part of the first official art transport to the Netherlands. The painting was returned to the Rathenau family, who sold it to the Mauritshuis in 1947.