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"Light Mysteries" in Crete

A unique visual experience for all age groups

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After 4 months of intense preparations, the official opening of the exhibition titled "LIGHT MYSTERIES: Holograms, 3D and Optical Illusions" organized by the Hellenic Institute of Holography (HiH) at the fabulous Natural History Museum of the Univ. of Crete in Herakleion took place. The inauguration of the show was done by the Governor of the Region of Crete Mr. Stavros Arnaoutakis in the presence of representatives of local administrative and academic communities

Such an exhibition takes place for the first time in Greece -if not internationally- as its content extends further than strictly holography by combining 3D stereoscopic imaging with education in basic optical principles through optical paradoxes. The Museum of Optics (Optimus) of the reknown (IFMO) Univ. of St. Petersburg, Russia  ...


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as well as the Institute of electronic Structure and Lasers of the foundation for Research and Technology of Crete (IESL-FORTH) largely contributed in the orgnaization of this exhibition. The aim of this show is to familiarize visitors of all age-groups with the basic principles of Optics through simple hands-on experimental setups, with the strange travel of Light in Nature through the explanation of various natural phenomena and with the latest developments in the field of stereoscopic 3D-imaging and applications.

Naturally, the magnificent World of Holography remains the main core of the exhibition, which expands in two floors and a total area of approx. 500 sq.m. At the ground level, 130 impressive display holograms from HiH Collections originating from more than 15 countries are demonstrated to public in a historic review of display holography from 1985 to this date: unique monochromatic holograms of original art pieces from the USSR, pseudocolour artistic holograms, full-colour large-format holographic prints, impressive  white-light transmission integral rainbow holograms, pulse portraits of humans and animals, latest technology true-colour ultra-realistic holograms of objects and Optical Clones (OptoClones) of works of art. 

LightMysteries-OptikaParadoxa-DSC 0758 resize resizeOn the 1st floor, various Optical Paradoxes and Illusions are demonstrated in an amusing and interactive way thus introducing visitors to the basic concepts of geometrical Optics, which are further explained with a series of simplified lab setups. Visitors can be entertained in the dark-room with laser musical instruments and light wall-graffiti whilst understanding natural phenomena involving UV-radiation. On the same floor, printed and digital 3D anaglyphs as well as the awarded large-format lenticular prints Lenstar introduce them to glasses-free auto-stereoscopic monitors with computer-generated and 'live' footage 3D content.

The exhibition is further enriched with samples of documented extra-terrestrial meteorites, original mineral pigments used in ancient Greek paintings and fluorescent minerals (from the private collections of Mr. Thomas Katsaros) as well as original impressive photographs of Aurora Borealis, captured by world-reknown Russian scientists researching this phenomenon. At the entrance of the Museum, the robotic geisha with its holographic head portraits welcomes visitors under the simulation of sky lighting (with the use of proprietary LED setup designed by Yiannis Georgaras) before inviting her young friends to custom-made kinetic interactive games in the 3D projection cube.

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You may watch here a brief introductory trailer video-clip broadcasted in local TV stations (an audio-clip of similar content also aired in local radio stations), which may encourage you to take a trip to Herakleion of Crete to see in your own eyes (though you may not trust them any more after this visit) a unique experience which will be available through the end of February 2014. Soon, a virtual tour of the show will be posted here but nothing can replace the personal experience as holograms cannot be communicated by any means other than visual appreciation. Surely, an unforgettable experience which will attract public interest.

Already, local media which had the opportunity of a pre-view of the holography part of the exhibition have made public announcements available here (CRETE TV) and here (CRETAlive) -also can be watched at the HiH YouTube channel, though only in Greek language until their sub-titling is completed. A promotional dedicated website with lots of photos and the various Press Releases (though only in Greek language) can be found at the address whereas it may be also worth visiting the website of the magnificent Natural History Musem of Crete,  a real jewel on this popular island, culinary origin and source of the famous Mediterranean diet.   

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A detailed list of all exhibits is planned for our next News Bulletin. Subscribe to our Newsletter so as to be among the first to be notified on a number of latest exciting activities of the Hellenic Institute of Holography.

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