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2023 One Show - Creative Use of Data

Backup Ukraine

Agency VIRTUE / Copenhagen + Blue Shield / Copenhagen + Polycam / San Fransicsco + Unesco Denmark / Copenhagen

Client Polycam + Unesco + Blue Shield


Brand Partnerships

Annual ID


About the Work

According to BLUE SHIELD (the “red cross for culture”), destroying a country’s cultural heritage is the fastest way to erase its national identity. And no matter how many sandbags and protective covers we wrap them in, Ukraine’s cultural heritage is at high risk of destruction.

So how do we make sure that they aren’t lost forever? By making a digital backup in the cloud — where no bombs can reach.

For the first time in history, UNESCO gave every citizen the power to create high-definition 3D models — and all they needed was their phones.

We saved the data as blueprints in a cloud-based 3D archive to be preserved forever. So if they’re ever destroyed, Ukraine's cultural treasures can be rebuilt down to the last detail.

We partnered with 3D startup POLYCAM to customize their photogrammetry technology for Backup Ukraine.

It uses machine learning to convert phones' built-in camera, LiDAR and location data to high-definition 3D digital blueprints in a secure, cloud-based archive.

A free app (iOS/Android) was released to all Ukrainians, allowing regular people with little training to capture 3D models of a quality that used to be reserved for film studios and gave development professionals with expensive equipment. With 150+ articles, 1000+ shares and 135.000 views, we spread the word to every citizen in Ukraine, turning everyone into a guardian of their national heritage.

We worked closely with archivist experts to ensure that data was saved at museum-level standards and let trusted partners export to 10+ 3D formats. We even built new privacy measures to help museums mask the precise location of their collections, shielding them from looting invaders and targeted airstrikes.

With +50.000 downloads and +35.000 captures in Ukraine,
Ukrainian citizens have backed up considerably more sculptures than even the world's biggest museums and art collections.

6 NGOs pledged their support. 7 international firms donated equipment, funding and assistance to volunteers the ground — even 3D printing replicas of threatened statues to prepare for the worst.

And Unesco’s National Commissioner even went on public broadcast urging neighbouring countries to start scanning their heritage — before it’s too late.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 21



VIRTUE / Copenhagen

Client / Brand

Blue Shield / Copenhagen
Polycam / San Fransicsco
Unesco Denmark / Copenhagen

Creative Director

Tao Legene Thomsen
Martin Furze

Digital Artist

Francois Pablo Andrivet

Executive Creative Director

Morten Grubak

Sound Designer

Nis Nørgaard


Martin Magner

Head of Innovation

Iain S Thomas


Chris Garbutt

Senior Communications Manager

Florence Gartland

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