Ajanta Caves Murals Preserved for Eternity at Arctic World Archive

Ajanta Caves paintings, photographed, digitized and restored through government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, have been preserved for eternity at Arctic World Archive, a repository that preserves data in indestructible format, for eternity.

Palo Alto, CA, October 25, 2020 --(PR.com)-- Arctic World Archive is a unique archive deep inside a decommissioned coal mine in the remote arctic island of Svalbard in Norway, where items of world memory are stored to last nearly 1,000 years. It is managed by Norway-based PIQL. In a ceremony conducted at the site, the process of preservation of Ajanta Caves for eternity was initiated.

Sapio Analytics’ Heritage Restoration division, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, reconstructs ancient heritage and culture using artificially intelligent technologies. It has also partnered with legendary art historians like Benoy Behl to help in such restoration. Ajanta Caves’ restoration and preservation is part of its grander efforts to create an indestructible world that replicates the original glory and opens a gateway to cultures across countries.

The Caves is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and widely considered to be one of the greatest arts created by humans. Speaking at the event, a message from Mr. Suresh Prabhu, India’s Sherpa to the G-20 nations, was broadcasted, “The ancient art is now getting preserved for all generations to come, for their inspiration, peep into history and pleasure. Ajanta is an example of how rich we as past humans were and how we could build on that in future, when humans will become live machines, thanks to robotization. Art and culture which kept our inner faculties to develop will be on wane, but no one can develop technology unless human faculties work to optimum, getting creativity to fore. This art will help us all know how to develop us all as true fully grown humans.” Messages and quotes from leading business leaders of bureaucrats of India were part of the deposit.

The Arctic World Archive is a growing digital repository of world memory located at the remote island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Piql’s innovative approach to archiving repurposes photosensitive film to be a digital medium. Data is stored using high density QR codes with all information needed to recover the information also stored on the film, making it self-contained and future-proof. This tried and tested technology can keep data alive for hundreds of years, without the need for migration.

“We have access to the greatest photographs depicting Ajanta Caves. We are using a team of art historians, leading photographers, and other experts on Ajanta Caves along with deep technology researchers to try and restore Ajanta Caves’ paintings to what they would have been thousands of years ago. We know that this culture needs to be made immortal, and hence we are preserving these works for eternity in the Arctic World Archive. Copies will also be saved in India at our centers,” said Hardik Somani, COO of Sapio.

‘We are pleased to welcome Ajanta Caves as the first deposit of a UNESCO world heritage site into the Arctic World Archive. Recognised around the world for its significance both in art and culture, this is a very worthy addition to this growing repository of global memory,” said Rune Bjerkestrand, Managing Director of Piql in a statement.

These paintings cannot be captured using lights and hence this preservation is special. "The ancient caves are dark and strong lights were not allowed to be used inside, as these would damage the invaluable paintings. I had fortunately developed a technique of photographing in extremely low light," said Benoy Behl about how he was able to photograph these paintings over decades, thus helping reveal many hidden aspects of this wonder.

“We are going to use A.I. and Deep Learning to restore the broken images in the said paintings. In order to restore these images, deep learning is applied along with knowledge from the leading art historians of the world, to create the right labels that are being fed into the deep learning models. Dataset training is done through manual restoration of some paintings,” added Somani.
Hardik Somani