Client: Kibox


To digitalize the archaeological finds from the Necropolis of Sant'Albano and make them accessible as a museum experience.


3D scanning, 3D modeling and Interactive Application for the multimedia showcases located in the new archaeological section of the City Museum of Cuneo.

The permanent exhibition at St Francis’ Monumental Complex in Cuneo, set up by Kibox on a project by architects Fernando Delmastro and Clara Distefano, uses the most advanced digital technologies to provide a comprehensive museum experience: multimedia display cases, tactile graphics, exclusive footage and digital reconstructions made from 3D scanning.

A surprising find gave rise to one of the most unique museum experiences in the entire Piedmont region. We are referring to the finds unexpectedly unearthed during excavations for the construction of a stretch of highway between Asti and Cuneo, more specifically in Sant’Albano Stura, where a Longobard necropolis was discovered which consists of 776 graves rich in jewelry of all kinds. Alongside the site restoration initiative, the cooperation between the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of the Piedmont region and the City Museum of Cuneo gave rise to a desire to make some of the most significant elements of the incredible historical heritage that has resurfaced available to the public.

After a long process of studies and research published in the guide “Ritrovamenti Archeologici lungo l’Asti-Cuneo” [Archaeological finds along the Asti-Cuneo highway], the new archaeological section of the City Museum of Cuneo was finally opened to the public in October of 2016; the treasures of the Longobard necropolis of Sant’Albano Stura are now available for everyone to view.

The necropolis comes back to life thanks to new digital technologies.

The preparation of the permanent exhibit at the City Museum of Cuneo by Kibox based on the design by architects Fernando Delmastro and Clara Distefano uses new digital technologies to provide a very comprehensive museum experience thanks to multimedia showcases, tactile graphics for the visually impaired, movies with photographic images and 3D digital reconstructions. The stated goal was to guarantee to the public interactive and immersive access to the archaeological excavation of the necropolis in order to have a credible experience of an early medieval funerary ritual based on reliable scientific studies conducted by the Superintendence. For the creation of the digital content, designers relied on the advice of Marco Stucchi, Space Cookies and Protocube Reply.

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The architects Clara Distefano and Fernando Delmastro with one of the multimedia showcases of the exhibition on the Longobard necropolis of Sant’Albano Stura. (Credits La Stampa)

An entire museum experience in 3D – from the scanning of the finds to the multimedia application

Protocube Reply was responsible for the interactive multimedia showcase content for the large production that characterizes the Cuneo-based staging. A complex process, ranging from an extremely high resolution 3D scan of the selected finds to the development of digital models to the creation of the interactive application that allows visitors to comfortably explore the entire collection of finds by viewing it on large displays. It was a start-to-finish workflow developed thanks to the constant cooperation of a multidisciplinary team.

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Two exhibits from the installation created at the Municipal Museum of Cuneo. (Credits Delmastro-Forlani)

3D scanning. Where it all begins.

When you make a 3D scan in the context of cultural heritage the goal is to get the most realistic possible digital reproduction of the actual find. Thanks to 3D digital models new technologies make it possible to offer a wide variety of experiences without jeopardizing the preservation of the original objects.

The dematerialization of the find also allows many possibilities in terms of enjoyment, above all the ability to gather and present to the public collections that, for various reasons, could never be located inside a single museum in addition to hybrid solutions based on the contemporaneity of original features and replicas.

In the creation of digital content, 3D scanning is the beginning of a complex process which continues with the creation of the 3D model itself. The optimization of the geometry and the textures of the model varies according to the different requirements:

  • high resolution 3D digital models for interactive exhibits
  • 3D digital models for rendering (images and videos)
  • 3D digital models for real time interactive content (e.g. Virtual reality and augmented reality)
  • replicas in 3D printing
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Detail of the original find of a fibula, a feminine ornament of the Longobard period found in one of the tombs in the necropolis of Sant’Albano Stura. (Credits Protocube Reply)

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The result of the high resolution laser 3D scanning and the optimization of the digital model used for the interactive application content. (Credits Protocube Reply)

cuneo scansione 3d laser work

The 3D scanning of the finds from the necropolis of Sant’Albano Stura was performed in a laboratory set up specifically for the unique needs of the collection using both laser and structured-light scanners. (Credits Protocube Reply)

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The image shows the sequence of the phases for the digitalization of an archaeological find. From the left we can see 1) 3D model as a point cloud; 2) 3D polygonal model; 3) “clay” rendering of the digital model; 4) rendering of the digital model with textures in high resolution. (Credits Protocube Reply)

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