Here are good news about the Pillar of the Nautes project! I have made a first announcement last year and some great progress have been made since.  As a result, the oldest monument in Paris could soon be restored, thanks to the efforts of a bunch of Heritage enthusiasts lead by Gladius Scutumque association.

Result of hypotheses

The Pillar of the Nautes 3D modeling is in progress. Still, further works need to be done. Then, it will enable the specialists to make a stone copy of the sculpture on a scale of 1.

This monumental ensemble of four limestone blocks represents Celtic and Roman deities. The Boatmen brotherhood of Lutetia dedicated it to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and dates from the year 1 AD.

Here are already the first tests, result of hypotheses put forward by the experts. The original face of the sculpture, scanned in negative, is shown at the left side of the images. While the right side presents the restored version based on a first hypothesis. Hence, this 3D modeling has a stony aspect to give a better rendering.


Boatmen of Lutetia dedicace to Tiberius. To the left: the original text scanned. To the right: the restored text proposal

Extensive research made for the Pillar of the Nautes 3D modeling

The modeling of the missing parts of the pillar faces was done in several steps. Firstly, the original sculptures were scanned. Then, new data were collected through extensive iconographic and historical research about other Gallo-Roman monuments.

As a result, the experts combined these elements to make hypotheses. Secondly, they transcribed it into a 3D model. It will serve now as a basis for the team of researchers to prepare its transition to stone sculpture. The statue at the top has still to be determined.

Brainstorming meetings

All the digital restoration was completed thanks to the talent of Galdric Robert, 3D computer graphics designer. This 3D model can still be improved and is open to any suggestions. Further brainstorming meetings between experts and Heritage enthusiasts are expected.

Finally, cutting tests on limestone blocks will combine a return to the original antique work (3D milling) and a manual sculpture. This will be done in the next phase of the project. Moreover, Gladius Scutumque association wishes to realize a complete sculpture in stone on a scale of 1 and present it in public in Paris.