Conservation



Re-creating the lost silver map of al-Idrisi

The map of the world made by the 12th-century Islamic cartographer Al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily was a masterpiece of mapping which remained the most technically sophisticated world-map for three centuries after its production.

The silver disk is now lost, and the Entertainment for those wanting to discover the world (Nuzhat al-mushtāq fi'khtirāq al-āfāq), survives only through later copies. Factum Foundation has undertaken to re-create Al-Idrisi’s fabled map. Neither facsimile nor copy, this re-creation nonetheless combines painstaking historical research with advanced digital techniques and the highest levels of craftsmanship, paying tribute to the lost original and offering yet another layer to add to the complexity of its transmission.

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Madame de Pompadour in the Frame: An exhibition at Waddesdon Manor

The exhibition 'Madame de Pompadour in the Frame', open to public from 23 May to 27 October 2019 at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK, features the facsimiles of two portraits of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher. The exhibition allows visitors to examine the facsimiles alongside artefacts of the production process and to watch a video showing the various stages of making.

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The sacred cave of Kamukuwaká
The destruction of indigenous cultures in Brazil

The cave of Kamukuwaká, a sacred petroglyph site representing the cosmogony of the inhabitants of Upper-Xingu, Brazil, and registered national monument, has been intentionally mutilated. In Sept. 2018, on a Factum Foundation visit to conduct high-resolution documentation of the sacred cave as a precautionary measure for such an attack, it was discovered that these petroglyphs had been systematically destroyed with chisels.

The data captured from this trip was combined with photographic documentation dating from before the attack to produce an entire 3D recreation of the cave. The Wauja have been working with the team in Factum to ensure the digital recreation is perfect and that the petroglyphs are correct. Part of this process is explored in this video: the careful digital restoration of the petroglyphs, carried out by Factum's expert 3D sculptor in close correspondence with the Wauja community.

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Photogrammetry Training in Al-Ula

Factum Foundation’s Otto Lowe spent two weeks in the town of Al-Ula, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, teaching a group of fifteen locals how to record cultural heritage in 3D using photogrammetry. It was a collaborative pilot project between the Factum Foundation, Art Jameel, and the Royal Commission of Al-Ula (RCU), and generously funded by Jacob Rothschild. The course took place between the 30thSeptember and 11th October at the Shaden Resort, and involved a class of 10 women and 5 men.
Over a period of seven days, the students recorded at three different sites in the vicinity of Al-Ula. More than 74,000 images were recorded in this time period, with the entire project weighing a total of 1.29TB.

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Casa Pilatos

In 2018, Adam Lowe and Carlos Bayod's Studio on Advanced Preservation Technology programme, at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP, Columbia University), was based on the application of non-contact digital recording systems within the frame of a fieldwork project: the documentation of the great Casa de Pilatos in Seville, Spain.

During a 3-day intensive trip in early October, the students carried out the recording of a selection of art and architecture elements throughout the building. The students had the opportunity to receive on-site training by scanning specialists from Factum Foundation, working in groups so as to obtain high-quality information on the current conservation state of the palace.

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'Zhob dinosaur trackway', Pakistan field trips in December 2017

In December 2017, Factum Foundation funded and co-led a remarkable field trip in search of proof of a new type of dinosaur in one of the most inaccessible and dangerous places on earth: Pakistan’s western province of Balochistan. Generally off limits to the outside world because of its proximity to the Afghanistan conflict, and its homegrown insurgency seeking independence from Islamabad, this oil and gas-rich region is also a largely unexplored treasure-trove of prehistoric remains. Over the course of two days in December 2017, the team took thousands of terrestrial and aerial photos of the site. Learn more about the project here.

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Recording heritage in Dagestan

In May 2016, a team from Factum Foundation were joined by two Dagestani photographers, winners of the competition ‘Cultural Heritage 2.0’ and trainees at Factum Arte (Madrid), to record the tombstones at the mosque of Kala-Koreysh (Dagestan, Russia). The initiative stemmed from a collaboration between Factum Foundation and the Peri Ziyavudin Magomedov Charitable Foundation that aims to digitize the cultural heritage of Dagestan.

This video was made in Dagestan while digitizing local tombstones. Learn more about the project here.

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Conservation of Sorolla's lampshade

In house textile conservator, Isabel Fernandez disassembles a lampshade in the collection of the Joaquín Sorolla´s house museum, which underwent a preventive conservation treatment. The silk fabric of the lampshade was digitized, digitally restored and printed as a facsimile.

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Re-materializing the Tomb of Seti I

A combination of CNC milling and Océ 3D printing has been used to produce the facsimile the tomb of Seti I. Most of the tomb has been carved into boards of polyurethane using CNC routing machines. The walls were routed into panels of approximately 1 x 2 m that are then joined together. Once complete, these panels were assembled to form complete rooms. The elevated printing technology of Océ - A Canon Company, is a form of additive 3D printing. It can create full-colour, textured prints with a maximum size of 2.44 x 1.19 m and a height up to 5 mm.

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Creating Skins

The preparation of an elastic printing media, or skins, was a direct response to practical need. Factum Arte’s flatbed digital printer can overprint in perfect register but it cannot print a detailed and focused image onto an undulating surface. A mixture of three different materials has been developed and is made as required and applied in layers. It is an ultrathin, flexible, slightly elastic material suitable for inkjet printing with pigmented ink.

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Invasive conservation Practices

Factum Arte's Juan Carlos Arias demonstrates how moulds were made on the walls of the tomb of Seti I in the late XIX century in an attempt to preserve it.

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Kuikuro Heritage

In May 2017, Factum Foundation and People’s Palace Projects collaborated with indigenous filmmaker Takuma Kuikuro in his effort to preserve the heritage of the village of Ipatse, which is located in the Xingu region of Mato Grosso in Brazil. The Foundation supported Kuikuro´s continuous effort in documenting the traditions and daily life in Ipatse.

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There is No Future Without a Past

Short animation describing the forces threatening the preservation of cultural heritage and Factum Foundation´s efforts to respond to these menaces.

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Conserving by copying: 3D Printing Tutankhamun's tomb

Watch the video by the Griffith Institute of Oxford University on the 3D printing of Tutankamun's tomb. Researchers from the University’s Griffith Institute for Egyptology and Adam Lowe, director of Factum Arte, talk about the cutting edge of conservation, and why it matters.

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God will repay you

Short documentary about the building of the Mejorada del Campo Cathedral, a project by Justo Gallego, comparing this building with the Cathedral of La Almudena in Madrid and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

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Presentation of The Facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun in Luxor

Video describing the creation of the facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, which was installed in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor in 2014.

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Digital Restoration

Video about the process and protocol for creating a non-contact digital restoration of the heavily damaged frescoes of the early C11th Mozarabe Hermitage of San Baudelio in Spain. The Chapel was in a bad state of disrepair and an important part of the frescoes were stripped early in the C20th - the resulting pieces sold and dispersed across the world. The virtual restoration follows the process of interpreting and re-unifing the heavily damaged walls - we watch as the process is revealed. This approach is of great importance in terms of how we work with the past - It separates the act of restoration from that of preservation, creating a space in which art history, heritage management, forensic technologies and personal opinions can be discussed before they are imposed onto the original.

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San Petronio's short film

Short film made for Felsinae Thesaurus to present the work being done on the facade of the Basilica di San Petronio, Bologna. It was projected on Piazza Maggiore Cinema the 13th and 29th of July 2013.

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