Idol Wing creates virtual museum to preserve cultural treasures of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Police Idol Wing-CID has established a virtual museum with 374 idols to preserve and promote the rich cultural treasures of Tamil Nadu.
The Idol Wing has 374 idols, including 36 metal items, 265 stone items, and 73 wooden items. The idols and artefacts have been moved to the icon centers of Thiruvottriyur, Kumbakonam and the government museum, Egmore for safe keeping.
The Idol Wing, with the help of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, took 3D photos of all the idols, with unique virtual reality and augmented reality cameras. Photos were uploaded to http://www.tnidols.com/.
K. Jayanth Murali, Additional Police Director General, Idol Wing-CID, said, “We have created a virtual museum with the aim of helping art and culture connoisseurs and members of the public to see and experience appreciate the ancient cultural treasures available. with us. Our goal is to transform the virtual museum into a metaverse where visitors can interact in 3D cyberspace.”
The virtual museum was created in collaboration with Professor M. Manivannan, virtual reality and haptics expert at IIT Madras; Shankara Narayanan, a Ph.D. researcher in the Department of Computer Science, IIT; and Premnath from Invent Softlabs, Chennai.
Mr Murali said: “The long term plan is to collect images of all available ancient idols across Tamil Nadu from volunteers to upload by temple, subdivision and district. We proposed to set up a committee of experts to process the images before uploading them.
For this, the Idol Wing collaborates with IIT Madras. The artificial intelligence will also help determine the era to which the idol belongs.
“We further wish to propose to the state government, which physically owns the idols, to sell the digitized versions of the idols to the museum, except for the temple idols, as non-fungible tokens. [a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain]. This will go a long way in generating additional revenue for the government while providing art collectors with the satisfaction of owning the digitized version of cultural artifacts,” Mr. Murali said.