The National Archaeological Museum and Acciona have created a replica of the Arch of San Pedro de las Dueñas. The original is part of the Museum's collection while the replica is located in the museum’s garden. The arch, which is 2.2m high and 3.3m wide, is one of the most emblematic items in the Romanesque collection of the National Archaeological Museum, which combines both architecture and sculpture.
The arch was reproduced using D-Shape technology, a 3D printing technique using concrete. Acciona said that the durability of the material makes it possible, for the first time, to achieve an architectural reproduction that is suitable for outdoor locations, because of its ability to withstand weather conditions.
Andrés Carretero, director of the National Archaeological Museum, said the development "puts the Museum to the forefront worldwide in the application of new technologies to the disseminating and preservation of cultural heritage”.
Acciona executive vice chairman Juan Ignacio Entrecanales emphasised the need for collaboration between the private sector and public institutions to drive innovation. He also highlighted "the importance of this joint project between ACCIONA and the National Archaeological Museum, which has demonstrated the immense potential that new technologies, such as 3D printing, have for the preservation, dissemination, restoration and accessibility of cultural heritage".
The agreement with Acciona is part of the museum's strategy to use technology to make history more accessible in its facilities and to contribute to technological advances in conservation techniques and the preservation of historical heritage.
Acciona describes 3D printing an ally of historical heritage. “The possibility of obtaining exact replicas means that the public can approach the reproduction while the original is preserved,” it said. “This technology also makes it possible to reproduce pieces in their original locations while the original is preserved in appropriate facilities.”
The company has also digitised a total of 30 medieval items in the Museum so that visitors can manipulate them via an interactive screen. The digital models of the pieces would also assist greatly in future restorations, as technology makes it possible to obtain perfect full or partial replicas of the pieces by means of 3D printing.