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Blaschka Glass Replicas of Marine Invertebrates Documented in 3D for the First Time

The Florence based Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica (The Foundation for Science and Technology) hosted during the week of 13 to 17 February 2017 two researchers of The Cyprus Institute, Dante Abate and Sorin Hermon, who arrived with a mission to solve the impossible – the 3D documentation of the famous Blaschka glass replicas of invertebrates. Applying an agile and versatile 3D documentation pipeline, the team recorded with the highest accuracy, the 3D models of thirty objects of the Foundation’s collection, as well as a few specimens belonging to the Zoological Section of the La Specola Natural History Museum in Florence. The sea anemone in the image is a Cerianthus lloydii, having its primary habitat in the shallow waters of the northern European Seas.

Preliminary results being very promising, the team aims to return and complete the 3D documentation of the entire collection. With more than a hundred items, it is the largest and most important representation of Blaschka’s work in Italy. Its 3D visualization will enable the access for research, education and outreach of an otherwise hidden treasure, hosted by the Foundation but physically inaccessible to the public. The work has been done within the framework of E-RIHS, the newly launched European Infrastructure for Heritage Science, coordinated by the Italian National Council for Research and sited in Florence, Italy.

Dante 3D glass
Figure 1. Dante Abate in action - 3D documentation of one of the Blascka glass objects.


anemone glass
Figure 2. 3D model of one of the collection's item, the sea anemone Cerianthus lloydii.