I woke up this morning, as I have every morning this week, to the pealing of bells from the campanile of Florence’s iconic cathedral complex, Santa Maria del Fiore, popularly known as the Duomo. The heart of this ancient and exquisite city, the Duomo also plays a central role in our new story tour, Buried Alive: The Secret Michelangelo Took to His Grave. I’m here to test the app one last time before we shout its existence out to the world. I'm happy to say that it's working great!
This week in Florence also coincided with the first meeting of culture ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations. Moved by the recent damage inflicted on Roman-era monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra – a horror that I share – they gathered in Florence to raise awareness for the importance of "cultural diplomacy," defined as:
The protection of cultural heritage,
combatting trafficking of artistic and historic items,
and using culture as an instrument for dialogue.
As you can image, I'm down with this plan 100%. In fact, I was honored and moved to be present for the unveiling of this recreation of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch. The original, built in the 3rd century CE by Septimius Severus, was reduced to rubble in 2015 by extremist idiots. Oxford's Institute for Digital Archeology created this replica using a combination of computer-based 3D rendering and a pioneering 3D carving technology.
The arch is now traveling the world – a global symbol of the triumph of cooperation over conflict, optimism over despair, and human ingenuity over senseless destruction. It also demonstrates how new technologies can, indeed, celebrate cultural heritage and bring the past to life again. Just as we’re dedicated to doing at Time Traveler Tours.
A vote for TTT = a vote for cultural literacy and diplomacy. Just click the link, scroll down to find our logo and video, then click "vote." You will be asked to enter your email address, but only to make certain you don't vote twice. Not to spam you.
Thanks, as ever, for your continued enthusiasm and support,
Sarah & Team TTT&T
PS -- Grab Buried Alive while it's free: just open the app store on your phone, plug in the search term "Time Traveler Tours," then tap the name of the app to install it and download the content.
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