Sarah Gambell



Research title: The tactical value of digitisation for the preservation of cultural heritage in conflict

Research Summary

As methods of digitisation have continued to advance and evolve, digital methods of preservation are increasingly valued as viable options for cultural heritage institutions seeking recreations of art and artefacts, or similarly, the production of virtual objects and spaces when return or restitution of an object to a source country is not an option due to legal dispute or conflict. Therefore, to what extent does digitisation and digital preservation provide a tactical value towards the protection of cultural heritage in conflict? Further, this research will seek to develop the theoretical and ethical framework for undertaking systematic digitisation of heritage with regards to conflict, preservation and return.

Interests: Focusing primarily on applications in the Middle East and West Asia, I research the value of digitisation as conflict resolution for restitution cases of stolen art and artefacts, the use of 3D printing, comprehensive arts databases, and virtually recreated environments for destroyed heritage sites, via VR and AR.

  • Value of digitisation for preserving heritage in conflict,
  • restitution law,
  • policy,
  • Conservation theory,
  • 3D reconstruction,
  • Data visualisations,
  • Virtual and augmented reality,
  • Intangible cultural heritage,
  • Born digital,
  • post-custodial theory