• Polychromy in ancient classical sculptures is a historical fact. However, for centuries, archeologists and museum curators have scrubbed away traces of color before their public display. This omission has led to the incorrect idea of a Greco-Roman predilection for pure whiteness—and to the equation of white marble with beauty—with a tendency toward chromophobia, that may even verge into a system of chromoeugenics (Calvo-Quirós, 2013). Currently, white supremacist groups are using the purported aesthetics of classical white refinement for propaganda. The consequences of this use run deep, and an international rise in neo-fascism, entangled with a fear of difference, requires a re-examination of cultural heritage’s connection to identity formation. In line with the idea that physical engagement and supporting the social setting are principles that interaction designers should consider (Petrelli et al., 2016), interactive technologies afford new opportunities to curve classical sculpture’s misuse.

    This paper discusses the power of color in ancient sculptural polychromy and new models of civic education that tap into the power of new technological paradigms. The work investigates lessons afforded by the humanities on the meaning and power of interpretative processes of cultural artifacts such as the view of objects as social and affective-inducing beings, and then presents ColorColab, a potential critical thinking tool, consisting of an online app and an Augmented Reality (AR) device. The tool would allow users to look at ancient classical sculptures in their original or imagined colors, and would function as a tool for museums, teachers, and public officials interested in using technology for historical education about past and modern diversity through informal education. Initial explorations about the technical development of such a tool are presented, and further directions are discussed.