The fragile artworks you will see, but can never touch

Last week, the holographic Petite Danseuse was in San Francisco and soon it will emerge in Hong Kong. 

The hologram, developed by American company Proto, appears inside a large metallic box open to viewers on one side in which the Degas sculpture slowly rotates.

Other uses for the holograms include displaying two-dimensional artwork, such as paintings, and rendering digital art physical. 

Christie’s has already used the technology to display non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are certificates of ownership for digital artwork, outside of a computer screen.

“That resonated because NFTs are made natively digital, we’re not creating a rendering of it in the case like the Degas,” said Mr Thakkar.

In future, holograms might allow auctioneers to conduct simultaneous sales around the globe.

“That’s the holy grail that we all want, in the long run, people being beamed into it,” he said. At the moment, the high data rates needed to transmit a live hologram are prohibitive. 

A further ambition is for visitors to be able to get up close to a hologram, perhaps of a priceless antique, and examine it.

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