A project which allows visitors to interact with digital versions of historical pieces of armour for the first time in its history.

The digital project by Leicester’s Sikh Museum Initiative painstakingly recreated three objects from the museum’s South Asian Sikh collection.

Following on from the display of Sikh Relics at the Anglo Sikh Wars Exhibition (2017) at Newarke Houses Museum and the world’s first 3d Sikh Museum-Anglo Sikh Virtual Museum (2020-2022) comes a permanent 3D Sikh interactive.

The project, made possible by a partnership over several years with the Leicester’s Sikh Museum Initiative and Taran 3D, has reconstructed a Turban Helmet, a Fortress Turban reserved for the elite Akali Nihang warriors and, an elaborately decorated shield from Lahore.

The objects were all chosen for their striking appearance as well as their historical significance. The project will mark the first time digitally recreated 3D Sikh objects have been on display anywhere in the UK.

Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with and articulate the three objects, offering a dynamic perspective of the otherwise static real things, housed adjacent to the display. The display will live permanently in the museum’s Oriental Gallery on the fourth floor of its flagship Leeds museum.

Curator of Asian and African Collections, Natasha Bennett said: “The Royal Armouries is very excited to have partnered with the Sikh Museum Initiative to bring important objects of Sikh heritage to the attention of visitors in a fresh, innovative way.

“Reimagining this helmet, shield and turban through 3D technology has created a platform that will enable audiences to enter a personal interaction with these artefacts and encourage an almost tangible appreciation of their historical role and significance.

Director of the Sikh Museum Initiative , Gurinder Singh Mann said: “We originally started by photographing the three objects and then digitally recreating these for the Anglo Sikh Virtual Museum.

“This led to today’s installation which is an important step in uncovering the joint history between the British and the Sikhs. By using 3D technologies, we can now interpret objects in a way which is rarely seen.

“We have been delighted to have been working with The Royal Armouries to enhance visitors’ experience to the galleries.”