Imagine the case when we could replicate the artifacts that are a property of the government! Then, we could all be the proud owners of replicas of the priceless properties in a matter of days. All this and much more are possible with the help of 3D printers. The copying of artifacts might be of no reason to worry for some but for a few it is an issue of damage to national property by fabricating the antique.

An artist by the name of Oliver Laric 3D printed seven Chinese cultural artifacts, which lead to a much heated argument among many in the 3D printing industry as well as the Chinese government. Laric 3D printed seven columns from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Despite Laric having 3D printed many such artifacts in the past; the replication of the seven columns was not received very positively by everyone. These columns have been 3D printed in Norway, where they are currently stored since being looted from the Chinese way back in 1860. The 3D prints which were generated by Laric are stored in the Entrée Gallery. They are on display till July 13, 2014 for public viewing. Laric has been generous enough to have uploaded the blueprints on the internet so that everybody can have their own Old Summer Palace.

Some feel that Laric steals the artifacts with the help of modern technology but Laric feels that what he does is a form of art which is an example of contemporary open source society.

The columns are all set to be sent back to China after a Chinese real estate developer Huang Nubo visited the museum of KODE and had a discussion with the authorities. The Norwegian government has agreed to return the relics back to China’s Peking University.

Image Credit: Randy OHC (flickr handle: mariya_umama_wethemba_monastery)