Under the eyes of some 7,000 spectators last Thursday the Greco Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was brought back to life in a 3D video mapping show on the façade of the Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria. The show which lasted 20 minutes and was repeated every 25 minutes, was jointly organised by the Ministry of Antiquities and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s (BA) International Augmented Med (I AM) project which runs under Alex Med Center.
In flashback, Cleopatra begins with recounting the story of the founding of the city of Alexandria by Alexander the Great in 330BC. Alexander dies in Babylon in 323BC and his empire is divided among his army generals; Egypt passes into the hands of the Ptolomies. The Queen then moves to her own story—from struggling to rule Egypt to meeting Julius Caesar in the famous “carpet” incident, followed by meeting Mark Anthony and recounting his battle with Octavius, then ending with the last scene of her suicide. Presented in an interesting dramatic frame, the storytelling is accompanied by an augmented reality display to enrich the audience’s experience.
The show which was open to all upon free invitations gained popular acclaim among Egyptians, tourists and foreigners residing in Alexandria and was attended by a plethora of public figures. Alexandria Governor, Hany al-Messiri and his spouse attended the spectacular show, as well as the ambassadors of Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, Consuls of France, Great Britain, Lebanon, Austria, China and Sudan, and representatives of the Italian Embassy in Egypt. The “Legendary Cleopatra” was widely recognised and covered by the media.
This is the second 3D show organised by the BA after the success of last year’s show which was projected on the façade of the BA walls and attracted some 2000 people. The event was a promotional success and was posted on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) calendar of events which provides a comprehensive list of tourism events all over the world. The UNWTO website covers the most significant touristic events worldwide.
I AM is an international cooperation initiative involving 14 partner organisations in seven Mediterranean countries. It is funded by the 2007–2013 ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme, and aims to promote touristic and archaeological sites as well as natural and cultural heritage using the latest technological applications that depend on visual and sound effects. I AM project started in 2012 and runs till 19 October 2015. It operates under a budget of some 3 million Euros, 90 per cent of which is contributed by ENPI CBC MED and the remaining by the project’s partners: Italy, Spain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia.
22 September 2015