Without a doubt, 3D technology is a phenomenon of our times. Having originated in industrial applications, it now also transfers into other fields, gradually gaining significance in the visual arts for example, as the creative tool in the field of CGI, digital sculpting and sculptural art, but also as a tool to protect cultural heritage in the hands of restorers, museum and galleries. We have progressed from the original capturing of reality through drawing and painting, through photography to technological advancements in the form of 3D scanning and 3D printing. 3D digitalization arrived at the beginning of the 21st century in order to deepen the human perception by another dimension for the future.
Accurately digitized 3D copies of historical items can create added value. These are virtual databases whereby it’s possible to perform research regardless of location. It enables, for example, virtual tours, creation of economically feasible realistic copies using 3D printing and their exhibition. Problems with the protection of the exhibited items against the influence of the environment, or the danger of damage or theft are removed, thus the items no longer require costly insurance. The works of art may be exhibited both in the form of passive or interactive 3D animations and programs, creating space for new forms of presentation, new opportunities for art historians and their professional interpretation or detailed expert analysis of the work in a virtual environment. At the same time, this provides the general public an interaction with virtual world in museums and galleries. Through the use of modern technology, the future of digital databases and the virtual environment as tools enabling access to cultural heritage meet the challenges our history has been waiting for. The sculpture named Raněný (Wounded Man) by the significant Czech sculptor Jan Štursa (1889 – 1927). The author uses it as a response to the terrors of the First World War. This two-meter plaster original from 1920 – 1921 may be viewed in the Horácká Gallery in Nové Město na Moravě.