Statens Museum for Kunst

Scan the World opens the doors to the SMK in 3D

By Scan The World

SMK Museum by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

The Statens Museum for Kunst (or the SMK) is the Danish National Gallery, located in Copenhagen, the heart of the nation. The gallery collects a range of cultural arefacts by primarily Danish and other European artists that range in date as far back as the 14th century all the way up to contemporary art.  

SMK - Sculpture Street by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

With such a wonderful collection of historical heritage it should be available for everybody to enjoy, however, this is not always the case; in recent times we have seen limited travel and access to cultural institutions. Equally, The SMK's Royal Cast Collection is currently closed to the public in general.  

KAS - Ludovisi Ares by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

Accessing The SMK's Heritage and Stories


SMK - Sculpture Street by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

The SMK houses the Royal Collection of Graphic Art which is filled with over 240,000 works consisting of paintings, drawings, etchings and more. The collection is not easily accessible and to permit entry, one must book in advance. The same goes for the Royal Cast Collection, another wonderful selection of cultural heritage found at the SMK that we cannot access with ease. 

Head of Michelangelo's David by Shane GriffinScan The World

“There’s enormous potential in making the collection available in digital form.” SMK  

Venus de Milo, Alexandros of Antioch, From the collection of: Scan The World
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KAS - Sculptures by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

There is an undivided significance of cultural heritage across the world that it is crucial for maintaining our respective history and sense of cultural identity. In contemporary society physical artefacts are often hard to access or are lost, whether that be through natural disasters, heritage hidden in museum archives or the inability to travel to destinations with ease. Scan the World aims to share cultural artefacts with the community in a way that liberates and promotes culture.   


KAS Sculpture Collection by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

The way in which we can achieve this liberation of culture is by spreading knowledge to those that may not have ease of access to such heritage. Scan The World provides an ecosystem for this admittance in an ambitious endeavour for the community to access a whole new world of art. Scan The World empowers the community to share their 3D scans, discoveries and remixes to grant further access to cultural heritage.  


KAS - Sculpture Collection by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

The goals of Scan the World are simple. We want the difficulty of access to cultural artefacts to become a predicament of the past; to liberate and share cultural heritage for all to connect with and enjoy.


Scan The World is built with a community in mind and the data is acquired in numerous ways, we call on the community to undertake 'guerrilla' scanning using their smartphones in a process which enables passionate individuals to scan and share cultural artefacts with the world in a very simple manner.


In our official partnerships with museums we use high quality scanning hardware to digitise objects to a high degree of accuracy. When museums grant us access to their collection we are able to provide incredibly detailed digital facsimiles to be shared with the community. 


SMK Gallery by Photo: Jonas Heide Smith / SMKScan The World

The OpenGLAM movement

“A modern set of principles and values on Open Access for Cultural Heritage.”

Costanza Bonarelli by Jonathan BeckScan The World

Across the globe museums are digitising their collections, but few share them openly online. Many digital collections are held behind pay-walls or strict Creative Commons licenses that limit access, knowledge and innocation.

The Statens Museum for Kunst is one of the cultural institutions at the forefront of the OpenGLAM movement whose mission is to release digital information into the public domain using an appropriate legal tool such as the CC0 waiver. Scan the World's values align closely with that of the OpenGLAM movement. Through providing access to digital artefacts openly, we enable the world to access knowledge and in turn further creativity and innovation.

3D Scanning (2019) by CC-BY-NC, Nick Furbo, 2020Scan The World

Scan the World’s benefit for you?

Through our official partnerships with institutions like The SMK, Scan the World aims to open the doors to a new and tangible world of culture for you.


3D scanning at The SMK by CC-BY-NC, Nick Furbo, 2020Scan The World

Only 3-5% of museum collections are on display to the public. This means that there's so many cultural artefacts that still remain inaccessible to the public, which are reserved for those with academic credentials.

Scan The World provides you with a completely unique platform in which you can share your 3D scans to a community who share your values of cultural heritage. Whether you’re a historian, an avid traveller, a lover of art or simply someone that holds strong values for cultural artefacts, Scan The World is a space in which you can share your own individual cultural heritage with others from around the world.  

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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