Last week, the Egyptology department at the American University in Cairo invited Factum Arte’s Aliaa Ismail (on-site project manager for the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative) to give a lecture on Factum Foundation’s interest in preserving cultural heritage through the use of digital technology. The talk focused on the recording systems used in the tomb of Seti I, Aliaa´s personal experience in Luxor, and the positive impact such work can have on both the human and economic. Read more news here.
In the coming weeks, Factum Foundation will begin routing the doors of the mosque at Kala-Koreysh (Daghestan). The 12th-13th C. doors, recorded with photogrammetry earlier this year in collaboration with the Charitable Peri Foundation, will be routed in oak at the highest possible resolution, to then be reintegrated into the mosque. Read more news here.
Factum Foundation is proud to announce that the full excavation, 3D recording and safe reburial of the Cochno Stone is now complete. The project, thus far, has been a huge success. The Cochno Stone is Scotland’s largest and best examples of Neolithic or Bronze Age cup and ring markings dating from 3000 to 2000 BC. The 3D data is currently being post-processed and the team hopes this will better their understanding of the stone´s history.. and that it might shed some light on the reasons the markings were made. Read more here.
The remarkable restoration works at Stoppelaere´s House are progressing rapidly and efficiently. Tarek Waly’s team have now completed a vast majority of works using the knowledge and hands of a skilled local team from Qaurna. It is anticipated that the 3D documentation training center will start operating by the beginning of 2017. Read more here.
The 3D and colour data recorded in the tomb of Seti I this Summer is being processed, and the first attempts to physically re-materialise sections of the tomb have begun. A 90 x 90 cm portion of the West wall in the Hall of Beauties has been successfully routed on a slab of polyurethane resin in very high resolution using a 3-axis CNC routing machine. These tests are being developed at the Factum Arte warehouse in Madrid to evaluate the quality of the scans recorded in the tomb of Seti I, as well as to bette, was then cast as a plaster panel. Read more news here.
In March this year, the Foundation, using a donation specifically for the project, recorded the Sarcophagus of Seti I, which today is the centre piece of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London having been brought there in 1824.
The sarcophagus, made out of a single block of alabaster, with detailed carving along its sides and on the interior, was 3D scanned in high resolution using photogrammetry. The data has now been processed and the results are extraordinary. Read more news here.
The frescoes of the icon painter Dionisy (ca. 1440–1502) at the Ferapontov Monastery, in northern Russia, are one of the great examples of early C16th Russian art. They create an intensely light-filled space within the small Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin. The frescoes are well known for their exceptional completeness. The Iconostasis was removed from the cathedral, which is now part of the museum of the monastery. Factum Foundation was recently at Ferapontov with the aim of understanding how to approach the digitisation of the interior of the cathedral. In collaboration with the Peri Foundation, a pilot project will take place in mid-October. Read more news here.
Factum Foundation is working with Strawberry Hill House to create a series of facsimilies of paintings from Horace Walpole’s original collection (sold in 1842, now dispersed worldwide). Two works have been completed and are now at Strawberry Hill. The next painting to be reproduced is Allan Ramsay’s vast double portrait of Walpole's nieces in the MFA, Boston. When complete, it will fill the end wall of Walpole’s famous crimson and gold Gallery. A Foundation team will soon be recording the 33 copies of Holbein drawings by Vertue at Sudeley Castle.
A team from the Foundation spent a week in Lebanon in June - whilst there eight early Stela from the monumental site of Nahr El Kalb were recorded with close range photogrammetry. This was the final recording effort on the site started in 2014 and a team is processing the data to hand over to the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon. While working in Nahr el Kalb the team spent two days demonstrating the technology to Akram Zaatari at the Arab Image Fdt. which has built a major archive of photographic records around the Middle East.
Alexander Peck from Factum Foundation spent a day in the site of Little Petra testing mid-range photogrammetry on some of the site´s façades, in preparation for a potential pilot project to record the site using long, mid and short-range recording techniques, as well as potentially digitally restoring some of Little Petra´s frescoes in collaboration with the Inspirational Development Group (IDG) as part of a training course for a group of young Jordanians to record their own cultural heritage. Read more news here.
The new book scanner which is being created to record fragile manuscripts in Daghestan is nearing completion at the Crevi workshop. This scanner was made to digitise books in the State Archive in Makachkala but will also be used to record the manuscripts that are held around the country in the collections of Islamic Scholars, madrassas and Mosques. This project is being developed in conjunction with the the Peri Foundation and the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, in Dubai. Read more news here.
The Foundation has been working extensively with the V&A for the Venice Biennale on a special project running from 28 May – 27 November 2016 called A World of Fragile Parts, which explores the threats facing the preservation of global heritage sites and how the production of copies can aid in the preservation of cultural artefacts. Copies and scans have emerged as a way of mitigating risk by providing valuable records and offering alternatives for a demanding public who want to experience historical sites and objects first-hand.
Lucida Lab Milano is a laboratory specialized in digital technology in conservation run by Carlos Bayod and Guendalina Damone, launched thanks to a collaboration between Factum Foundation and Open Care Milano (a Milan-based conservation and restoration laboratory and art services workshop). The Foundation is continuously looking forward to great things and the amount of work that we are seeing in Milan is encouraging because what we do and what we stand for is beginning to resonate strongly within the conservation and heritage communities. Read more news here.
The Veronica Scanner: Live 3D Portraiture event at the RA in London is now closed.
The exhibition will continue at Waddesdon Manor from Saturday 22nd October to Sunday 30th October 2016, and will be open from 11 am to 5 pm.
See the online gallery here
The project ran from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 11th of September.
This is a collaboration between Factum Foundation, the Royal Academy of the Arts, London and the Rothschild Foundation.
Factum’s Veronica Scanner, which uses photogrammetry to record highly objective portraits, was installed in the Royal Academy of Arts. More than 600 heads were scanned. In real time, some of the scans were processed on site and rematerialised through additive (3D printing) and subtractive (robot wood carving) processes.
Sitters will receive a 3D model of their scan within the next few days.
To learn more about the aims of the Factum Foundation, read about us here and download both the 2013 and 2016 Factum Foundation books explaining the aims and work being carried out.
Bookings for Waddesdon Manor are now open. For more information or to book your slot, contact Waddesdon Manor at +44 (0)1296 820414
Peril in Venice
When one goes to Venice – which for many wonderful reasons large numbers of us will this year, we think often of preservation and the peril Venice faces. That’s because we all know that the land upon which the city sits is sinking. That has been slowed by the prohibition on drawing water from the aquifer but the high tide – acqua alta – levels are becoming more frequent and the lagoon is rising inexorably as well.
So we are always conscious of preservation and restoration in Venice as we are also conscious that the city still looks marvellous, floating almost and serene. Many of the buildings look worn – as they might, they’ve been there a long time – since the original slave trade made the city so rich. But many are copies of what was and many more are heavily restored. The Campanile in St Mark’s Square is one of Venice’s landmarks – built on a Roman and then C9th foundation - it has looked, as it looks now, since 1514 – except for a short interlude in 1902 when it collapsed and was carefully rebuilt over ten years. Yes, it is a copy, nearly identical, but a copy. It stands for Venice and it is in every visitor’s memory and every photograph’s background. It is authentically Venetian and its originality is not a question – it doesn’t need to be.
Across St Mark’s canal is the island upon which the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore stands – the glorious home of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. Followers of the Factum story may know of the painting that hangs on the end wall of the refectory – where the building itself was designed by Palladio as its home. It is, of course, the Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese. Thought by many to be the greatest painting in the world – certainly that was true until colour reproduction, copies, became cheap and reliable – which is when the Mona Lisa became so well known that it became the greatest, a bye word for ‘art’. We have spoken before (see Viewed from Afar 31-05-2015 in Opinion) of the crush to view that small, hermetically sealed, painted image – but the people in the warm, humidity controlled, dimly lit crush in the Louvre hardly notice the great painting looming behind them. It was painted by Veronese and, though heavily restored, it is the painting that hung in Palladio’s refectory until 1797 when Napoleon decided it should be in the Louvre.
Adam Lowe and the Factum team, commissioned by the Fondazione Cini and with the collaboration of the Louvre, recorded the painting in high resolution 3D and colour and re-created the painting’s 67m² surface perfectly. It hangs now in Palladio’s bright, spacious, lofty refectory with whose perspective the painting’s horizon is aligned and for which it was painted – a copy, like the campanile – but its authenticity is not in question.
This question is the core of the Foundation’s being – we want to make sure we record – and help others record - in the highest possible resolution, works of cultural importance so that future generations may enjoy, analyse and understand what we inherited. We record in the highest resolution possible – sufficient to make an exact physical copy. And sometimes using that data we may do just that for a number of reasons - if the subject is in danger, as in Tutankhamun’s Tomb, or has been displaced, or dispersed, or damaged or even destroyed. Digital technology in conservation can have benign results, some perils to our cultural heritage may be averted though digital preservation.
[You might also like to see the V&A/Biennale/Factum Foundation collaboration concerned with digital preservation in Venice until 27 November 2016 called A World of Fragile Parts]
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