DNP’s Viewing Systems are Installed and made Available to the Public in the Richelieu site of Bibliothèque nationale de France
Digitalized historical heritage offers a new cultural experience
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), with its head office in Tokyo and represented by its President Yoshinari Kitajima, has equipped the new museum that opened in the Richelieu site of Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) with interest-sparking art viewers with tactile screen using a unique and interactive viewing technology developed by the company.
After the dozen-year “Richelieu Renaissance Project,” the first complete renovation of the library’s Richelieu site since its foundation in 1721, the site as a “Library for all” with its brand-new museum reopened its doors on September 17, 2022, as Europe celebrated its Cultural Heritage Day. As the only skills based Patron partner of the library from Asia, DNP has participated in the project by digitizing France’s historical heritage in 3D and innovating viewing systems for a “new cultural experience.”
DNP’s contribution to the Richelieu Renaissance Project
Endorsing the project as the only skills based Patron partner in Asia since July 2019, DNP has collaborated with BnF to digitize the library’s historical heritage in 3D and promote the diffusion of the obtained digital images. Developed in this collaboration, the “Interest-sparking art viewers with tactile screen”, DNP’s interactive viewing tools, use 3D digital images of historical spaces and artifacts — whose shooting had been considered extremely difficult because of their irregular textures and shapes — to enable the users to observe every detail of the objects from different angles or perspectives.
The tools are available in the Richelieu site’s new museum since September 17, 2022. The visitors of the museum, which expects to welcome a lot of visitors a day, can use them to deepen their understanding of the Richelieu site’s historical background and artistic significance.
DNP leverages the technologies and know-how developed through the project to promote the preservation and transmission of diverse cultural assets through opportunities for “new cultural experience” utilizing IT; such opportunities are offered to a wide range of public, including the users of cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and archives (MLA), visitors of company museums and showrooms, and schoolchildren, students and teachers.
DNP’s viewing tools in the Richelieu site
Interest-sparking art viewer with tactile screen for close observation of “Galerie Mazarin” space
One of the rarest examples of 17th-century baroque galleries existing in France, the Mazarin gallery is crowned with a ceiling painting created by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610-1662) and his atelier, representing scenes of Greek and Roman myths based on the narrative poem “Metamorphosis” by Ovid. By touching the 55-inch tactile screen of the interest-sparking art viewer installed in the gallery, visitors can appreciate the colossal ceiling painting of approximately 8 m x 45 m placed at the height of 9 m, from various angles and in different sizes. Explanations of the Greek and Roman mythological scenes depicted in the ceiling paintings, and "points of interest," including restored parts, are also viewable on display.
Interest-sparking art viewer with tactile screen (left) Mazarin gallery (right).
Interest-sparking art viewer with tactile screen for appreciating artworks, furniture, and fixtures in "Salon Louis XV "
Initially created for housing the Royal collection in the 18th century, “Salon Louis XV” contains furniture such as a long study table and furnishings for storing the collection, as well as François Boucher’s paintings depicting Greek goddesses. All paintings, furniture, and decorations of the room were restored before the opening of the new Richelieu site. The interest-sparking art viewer installed in the Salon Louis XV is a 3D viewer with a 24-inch tactile screen. By touching the screen, visitors can view detailed images of the overall room structure, paintings, furniture, and points of interest including restored parts.
Interest-sparking art viewer with tactile screen (left) Salon Louis XV or “Cabinet du Roi” (right) .
BnF and its Rechelieu Renaissance Project
Founded as a royal library in the 14th century, the BnF is one of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions. Its mission is to collect, conserve, and make accessible for discovery by the public more than 40 million documents inherited from France's successive kings. The collection includes documents, materials, and records, such as manuscripts, printed materials, prints, periodicals, photographs, maps, coins, audiovisual materials, video games, and websites. In addition, in BnF's digital library "Gallica," more than 9 million digital contents are accessible to the public regardless of their distance from the actual documents.
With the ambition of achieving both an easier access to the culture and an adequate preservation of cultural heritage, BnF launched the “Richelieu Renaissance Project” to renovate its old Richelieu site. Since the renovation is over, the historical building, whose access was once limited to academic researchers, is now open to all categories of visitors with its new museum.
History of joint projects between DNP and BnF
The first collaboration between DNP and BnF dates back to 2015, when they worked together to create, and diffuse 3D digital images of a selected collection of 55 ancient terrestrial and celestial globes preserved by BnF’s Maps and Plan Department. In 2019, the partners signed an agreement to create, and promote together the utilization and diffusion of 3D digital images of BnF’s precious collections and historical spaces.
21 objects of particular interest, whose shooting was a challenge because of their light-reflecting materials or complex and multidimensional shapes, were selected from the collection of BnF’s Coins, Medals, and Antiques (MMA) Department for 3D digitization. The data obtained are used in the digital contents, hands-on replicas, and other exhibits presented in the Richelieu site’s new museum.
Before the opening of the new Richelieu site, those 3D data were utilized by DNP in "Tomorrow's Cultural Experience,” the 2nd exhibition of BnF - DNP Museum Lab held in Tokyo in 2021. The data have also been uploaded to “Gallica,” BnF’s open digital library, to encourage their utilization and diffusion.