Built in 437 BCE on the Acropolis in Athens, the Parthenon stands as an enduring symbol of Classical Greece. Dedicated to the Greek maiden goddess Athena, the Parthenon is renowned for its impressive structure and intricate sculptures, and is often considered one of the greatest achievements of Western Classical art.
Researchers suggest that the Parthenon was utilized as a treasury for the Athenian Empire, following common practice in most Greek temples. As Athens surrendered to the Roman, Byzantine, Frankish, and Ottoman Empires, the Parthenon suffered drastically from fire, vandalism, and war. As Ottoman control of Athens weakened, the British Lord Elgin, and ambassador to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), secured a letter of instruction to remove the majority of the Parthenon's frieze, metopes, and pediment sculptures to be "rescued for posterity." These sculptures have been a part of the British Museum collection since 1816, and the question of their repatriation to Greece remains a topic of debate between the two countries today.
In an effort to reunite the Parthenon with its sculptures, the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies undertook the project of utilizing innovative graphics technology to model and render architecture from photographs. The Parthenon project combined 3D models of the Parthenon's sculptures with 3D models of the Parthenon to create accurate visualizations of the site in its entirety. USC's Institite for Creative Technologies has partnered with CyArk for the contribution of this digital data.