Visual Reconstruction of Ancient Coins Using Cycle-Consistent Generative Adversarial Networks

Marios Zachariou*, Neofytos Dimitriou, Ognjen Arandjelović

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, our goal is to perform a virtual restoration of an ancient coin from its image. The present work is the first one to propose this problem, and it is motivated by two key promising applications. The first of these emerges from the recently recognised dependence of automatic image based coin type matching on the condition of the imaged coins; the algorithm introduced herein could be used as a pre-processing step, aimed at overcoming the aforementioned weakness. The second application concerns the utility both to professional and hobby numismatists of being able to visualise and study an ancient coin in a state closer to its original (minted) appearance. To address the conceptual problem at hand, we introduce a framework which comprises a deep learning based method using Generative Adversarial Networks, capable of learning the range of appearance variation of different semantic elements artistically depicted on coins, and a complementary algorithm used to collect, correctly label, and prepare for processing a large numbers of images (here 100,000) of ancient coins needed to facilitate the training of the aforementioned learning method. Empirical evaluation performed on a withheld subset of the data demonstrates extremely promising performance of the proposed methodology and shows that our algorithm correctly learns the spectra of appearance variation across different semantic elements, and despite the enormous variability present reconstructs the missing (damaged) detail while matching the surrounding semantic content and artistic style.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • computer vision
  • Cycle-GAN
  • deep learning
  • image reconstruction


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