Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Rosslyn Chapel scanned in hi-tech detail

Rosslyn Chapel
The image process captures the architecture of the chapel in intricate detail

The chapel made famous in The Da Vinci Code has been photographed in intricate detail using cutting edge digital technology.

A team from Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art recorded Rosslyn Chapel using special 3D scanners.

The resulting pictures capture details of the 15th Century Midlothian building down to the millimetre.

It is part of an ongoing project which will record 10 World Heritage Sites in this way.

Historic Scotland joined forces with the Glasgow School of Art's digital design studio to take the photographs over three days.

It is estimated that the work would have taken a surveyor up to a year to complete.

'Truly astonishing'

The information has provided an accurate record of the chapel's condition, and given critical dimensional information for the ongoing £13m conservation and site improvement project.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "This leading edge technology will help digitally preserve Scotland's heritage for generations to come.

"The amount of detail in the images of Rosslyn Chapel is truly astonishing."

Rosslyn Chapel
The decoration in the chapel has proved a source of fascination

Director of Rosslyn Chapel Colin Glynn Percy said: "This has been a fascinating exercise for us which has real practical benefits in being able to record minute details for posterity as well as assist the conservation of Rosslyn Chapel for future generations to enjoy."

The technology has already been used at New Lanark and Stirling Castle.

The other World Heritage Sites being surveyed in Scotland are the Antonine Wall, St Kilda, the heart of Neolithic Orkney, and the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

Director of the Glasgow School of Art Seona Reid said: "The work is truly world-leading and clearly shows how developing new technologies can help us better understand and appreciate great works of the past."

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