National Geographic Museum Takes Visitors on a Virtual Journey to Jerusalem at ‘Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience,’ Opening Nov. 15
Immersive exhibition ‘transports’ visitors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the world’s most sacred, ancient monuments
On Nov. 15, 2017, the National Geographic Museum will open a groundbreaking, immersive 3-D exhibition, “Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience.” The exhibition combines National Geographic’s rich storytelling and archaeological expertise with innovative technology to bring this world heritage site to life.
In 2016, National Geographic had the exclusive opportunity to document the historic renovation of the tomb of Christ, located in the center of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. National Geographic Explorer Corey Jaskolski was part of the team on the ground that created a 3-D record of the site using LIDAR scans, high-resolution photos and video.
Now, this groundbreaking visualization data has been animated into an immersive projection experience designed by Orlando-based Falcon’s Creative Group, Artistic Entertainment Service and Electrosonic. Thanks to Jaskolski’s imagery, combined with a pair of 3-D glasses, museum visitors will leave Washington, D.C., and be transported to Jerusalem, where they can virtually walk inside the rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb of Christ and view newly revealed cave walls that haven’t been seen in centuries.
The exhibition also includes an interactive feature that allows visitors to test the ground-penetrating radar and see the laser scanners used to record and preserve this important archaeological site. Through this cutting-edge experience, visitors can learn how these types of technology could be used to preserve the world’s treasured cultural sites and artifacts of human history before they succumb to time or disaster.
For nearly 130 years, National Geographic has brought people to the world beyond their doorsteps. With this exhibition, we’ve assumed the audacious task of pushing the boundaries of exploration even further by taking visitors back in time. Through the use of real scientific data and visualizations, museum visitors have the opportunity to virtually step foot inside this iconic place to experience science and history in a particularly innovative way.
In “Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience,” visitors can learn about the restoration conducted by a team from the National Technical University of Athens – one of the foremost institutes of research in Greece. National Geographic Archaeologist-in-Residence Fredrik Hiebert and National Geographic staff writer Kristin Romey joined the team to experience the preservation of the tomb. The renovation revealed that bedrock from the part of the original cave still exists within the walls of this renowned shrine.
To be part of this once-in-a-lifetime team, that revealed and conserved the holiest shrine in Christianity, was a life-changing experience, both as a scientist and as a human being. I’m thrilled that through this new exhibition, visitors will be able to virtually experience what it was like to explore this iconic place.
The historic renovation project will be featured in National Geographic magazine’s cover story in the December 2017 issue. Additionally, it will be part of an upcoming episode of Explorer, airing in the United States on December 3 on National Geographic, and in 171 countries and 45 languages throughout December.
The exhibition will be on view until Jan. 2 2018, and will be accompanied by a series of public programs, educational resources and special events. The National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street N.W., Washington, D.C., is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, from 2–4 p.m.
Fredrik Hiebert, Archaeologist-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and curator of the exhibition, will give remarks and offer a tour of the exhibition. To RSVP, please contact Lexie de los Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archaeologist-in-Residence Fredrik Hiebert, engineer Corey Jaskolski, Emmy-nominated filmmaker J.J. Kelley, National Geographic staff writer Kristin Romey and members of the restoration team from National Technical University of Athens will discuss the historic unveiling of what many consider to be the tomb of Christ on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition will remain open until 7:15 p.m. on this date. Tickets are $25. More information is located here.
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The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through our grants and programs, we aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.