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Metaverse and VR Experience at the Archaeological Museum

On October 17, 2022, Meta and xtopia unveiled the second phase of their collaboration with the opening of the digital exhibition “Ancient Futures.” This event took place last Friday evening at the Archeology Museum. The inauguration featured xtopia’s poetry installation “everything belongs to time,” which was prominently displayed on the magnificent façade of the Archeology Museum.

The exhibition, “Ancient Futures,” is a joint venture between Meta, xtopia, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Key figures in attendance included Rahmi Asal, Director of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum; Bülent Gönültaş, Head of the Museums Department of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums; Derya Matraş, Regional Vice President of Meta for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey; and Lalin Akalan, the Founder of xtopia.

Metaverse and VR experience at the Archaeological Museum
Metaverse and VR experience at the Archaeological Museum

The opening of the Ancient Futures exhibition, attended by 400 guests, featured a captivating mapping show on the striking façade of the Archeology Museum. This display blended the past with contemporary technologies and envisioned the future, drawing inspiration from archaeology and mythology.

The exhibition, spread across various halls of the Archeology Museum, combined digital screens and physical sculptures in the same space as the museum’s artifacts, along with Augmented Reality (AR) works. It showcased a diverse array of perspectives, bringing together renowned global artists on digital screens in Istanbul.

The exhibition also highlighted works by local artists, regarded as some of the most creative minds in recent years. Additionally, researchers and artists who have garnered international acclaim were featured in this exhibition. All visitors also had the chance to explore the virtual exhibition in the VR (Virtual Reality) corner set up for the digital showcase.

Metaverse and VR Experience at the Archaeological Museum

Derya Matraş, Regional President for Meta in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, during her opening speech, stated, “With this exhibition, resulting from our collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and xtopia, we aim to step into the metaverse together.”

Bülent Gönültaş, Head of the Museums Department at the General Directorate of Museums under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, mentioned that the Ministry was involved with the Ancient Futures exhibition from its conceptual stage.

He noted, “The Ancient Futures exhibition also acts as a guide for future AR/VR studies. We will continue our efforts to reach more people through the metaverse in the upcoming period.”

Lalin Akalan, the founder of xtopia, shared insights about the exhibition’s works, saying, “Perhaps for the first time in human history, we are developing and investing in a metaverse world on a global scale. The metaverse has the potential to revolutionize how the world and society function and offers artists a unique opportunity to infuse every aspect of this realm with digital creativity.”

Metaverse and VR Experience at the Archaeological Museum

An AR work designed as an Instagram filter for the exhibition allows access to İskender Lahti, one of the Archeology Museum’s most treasured pieces, not only during visits to the museum but also from anywhere using the Instagram filter search button.

The Ancient Futures exhibition, drawing inspiration from our past and cultural heritage, poses the question, “How do we create the mythologies and archaeological remains of tomorrow today?” It presents 27 works and stories as fictional and speculative entities, seeking answers to this question.

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