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Thanks to Li-Fi, the archaeological remains at the MarTa in Taranto become interactive

Technology allows the visitors to use their smartphones to explore the contents related to the works on display

© MArTA Taranto

To transmit data by means of light using a blend of wireless technology and LEDs, which translate into Li-Fi, alias Light Fidelity. The archaeological museum in Taranto – the MarTa  is the first in Italy to enjoy its benefits and opportunities, thanks to the pilot project initiated by Infratel Italia (in-house of the Ministry of Economic Development which also supervises, among others, the Ultrabroad Band plan), in collaboration with the start-up To Be and the Italian Videogame Academy (Aiv).

Inaugurated in 1887, the MarTa is one of the most important archaeological museums in the world: the works on display “tell the story” of the city of Taranto and the territory, from the Prehistoric era to the archaic, classical and Hellenistic ages, through the Roman conquest and the transformations of the city in the Middle Ages. There are 24 works in the Museum now involved in the experimentation, plus the “Introduction to the Museum” section. In detail, the “Li-Fi G” technology uses geo-localization to provide interactive multimedia content on the visitors’ smartphones, associated with each work on display. It functions thanks to the on-off commutation of the individual LED, which is so fast as to be imperceptible to the human eye. The Li-Fi signal is read by the smartphone’s camera thanks to a dedicated app created by Infratel Italia.

In the project for Taranto, a fundamental role is played by the Li-Fi light fixtures. Not only do they serve to light the spaces and the works in the museum, they are also capable of conveying data to the visitor. Li-fi offers quick and direct access to the interactive content associated with each individual work, to the educational games available to play (for smaller children) and the visualisation of 3D reconstructions through Augmented and Virtual Reality, for an innovative experience and an unprecedented degree of communicative, emotional and physical involvement.

«The new technology makes it possible to enjoy multimedia content associated with the works on display, making them accessible to everyone, with content targeted to various visitor segments. The purpose is to break down every barrier, giving access to the content to visitors with disabilities, including those with hearing or vision impairments», underscores Eva Degl’Innocenti, the Director of MarTa. 

The purpose of the project is also to rely on the most innovative technologies to attract the younger generations and bring them into museums. The point is to expand the initiative nationally, involving a greater number of structures. «Through the project with MarTa, we propose a model that can be applied to many Italian museums and places of culture, encouraging different and more active ways to enjoy our historic and artistic heritage», emphasizes the CEO of Infratel Italia, Marco Bellezza. «We are very pleased to start with Taranto for this project, which is of national interest».

The works in Li-Fi at the MarTa Archaeological Museum of Taranto are:

  • Zeus of Ugento
  • Venus of Parabita
  • Idol of Arnesano
  • The small Idol of Scoglio del Tonno
  • Clay acroters
  • The Treasure of Corti Vecchie
  • Kraters from Ceglie del Campo
  • Laconic pottery (Fish Cup)
  • Tomb of the Athlete of Taranto
  • Naiskos from Via Umbria
  • Female head in terracotta
  • Tomb of the Gold of Canosa
  • Head of Hercules
  • Head portraying Augustus
  • Mosaics from the domus of Piazza Maria Immacolata
  • Pentascinensi Baths
  • Murex shells in fragments
  • Necropolis of Piazza d’Armi
  • Funerary cippus portraying a head
  • Gladiators
  • Sarcophagus with battle of ships
  • Late period mosaics from Piazza Maria Immacolata – Casa Baldassarre
  • Funerary stelae with epigraphs
  • Bowl in African sealed earth



Translation by Olga Barmine

On the cover: Female head in terracotta © MarTa 

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