News


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Recording of the Al Ain Museum
Recording of the Al Ain Museum

In September 2018, a team from Factum Foundation travelled to the oasis city of Al Ain in the Abu Dhabi Emirate in order to record and digitise the exhibits of the Al Ain Museum. The museum, the oldest in the UAE, is being temporarily closed to allow its renovation and the construction of an additional museum building, with Factum commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Department for Culture and Tourism to document its variety of exhibits that focus on the ethnographic and archaeological history of the country so as to ensure their long-term protection.
Two forms of digitisation were conducted: an overall scan using a LiDAR laser scanner in addition to photogrammetry on individual exhibits to supplement the LiDAR data.
Read more.

Facsimile of the Jamnitzer Bell at Strawberry Hill House
Facsimile of the Jamnitzer Bell at Strawberry Hill House

The extraordinary 'Cellini Bell' by Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/1508 to 1585) was recorded in June 2018 at the British Museum in London. This highly intricate cast and chased silver bell was amongst the most difficult objects Factum Foundation has ever recorded. It has been replicated in silver using several techniques to try to retain the extraordinary level of detail that characterises Jamnitzer's work. The exact facsimile will be included in the exhibition "Lost Treasure of Strawberry Hill" (20th October - 24th February 2019) in Twickenham.

This exhibition brings back to Strawberry Hill some of the most important masterpieces in Horace Walpole’s famous and unique collection. Horace Walpole’s collection was one of the most important of the 18th century. It was dispersed in a great sale in 1842. For the first time in over 170 years, Strawberry Hill can be seen as Walpole conceived it, with the collection in the interiors as he designed it, shown in their original positions.

Factum Foundation supports Strawbery Hill Trust in its effort to recreate the original splendor of Walpole´s home and collection. Several other treasures from Strawberry Hill, such as Sir Joshua Reynolds' The Ladies Waldegrave or Allan Ramsay´s portrait of Horace Walpole´s nieces, have been recorded since 2015.

Learn more.

Columbia University's Studio trip, Seville
Columbia University's Studio trip, Seville

This year, Adam Lowe and Carlos Bayod's Studio on Advanced Preservation Technology programme, at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP, Columbia University), is 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. 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. The obtained data will be processed by the students with the aim of generating virtual and physical outputs that could ultimately contribute to the appreciation and dissemination of Casa de Pilatos.

Recording in Casa de Pilatos, Seville
Recording in Casa de Pilatos, Seville

In early October, a team from Factum Foundation spent three days in Seville for the recording of various elements of Casa de Pilatos. As part of our collaboration with the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, which started with the recording of Cardinal Tavera's tomb, this project aims at applying digital technology to the recording and preservation of one of Medinaceli's great treasures. The Casa de Pilatos, one of the main Renaissance palaces in Europe, contains a unique collection of Cuenca-style azulejos from the 16th Century, as well as an impressive collection of art and archaeology artefacts. Various non-contact methods were employed to obtain high-resolution 3D and colour information of a selection of elements, including the Lucida 3D Scanner, close-range photogrammetry, Lidar 3D scanning and panoramic colour photography. The team was formed by Pedro Miró, Gabriel Scarpa and Carlos Bayod with Abhijit Dhanda, an intern from Carleton University. This initiative will provide a comprehensive digital archive of the current conservation state of the Casa de Pilatos and will lead to further collaborations to disseminate the importance of the site.

Kamukuwaká: <br>vandalised indigenous rock art site
Kamukuwaká:
vandalised indigenous rock art site

A team from Factum Foundation has returned from the Xingu region of the Amazon where they discovered the destruction of a uniquely important petroglyph site.

The vandalised cave is home to the mythical hero Kamukuwaká, an extra-human entity that travels up into the sky villages to bring the ancestral knowledge associated with the ethical standards of traditional leadership to the Xinguan people. Concurrently, Upper-Xinguan tradition situates the first Pohoká ritual of ear-piercing, the ritual of initiation of young leaderships, in the archaeological village adjacent to the cave.

Widely reported in the Brazilian media, the tragedy highlights the importance of preemptive 3D recording and will form the centrepiece of Factum’s upcoming project for the Venice Biennale in 2019.

Read more here.

News from Dagestan
News from Dagestan

A team from Factum Foundation is in Dagestan to install a new portable manuscript scanner for the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography in Makhachkala. The scanner will be taken on expeditions into Dagestan's mountains as part of a long-term campaign to digitise and study the thousands of Islamic manuscripts held by private collections in the region.

Factum, in collaboration with the Peri Foundation, has been working with the IHAE since 2016. The project has involved the creation of high-resolution book scanning systems integrated by means of custom-designed software for sustainable data storage and preservation.

Read more about the project here.

The facsimile of the tomb of Seti I at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo
The facsimile of the tomb of Seti I at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo

The exact facsimile of the sarcophagus of Seti I, produced in 2017 by the Factum Foundation and initially part of the exhibition "Scanning Seti: The regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb", is currently on view at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. The objects in the new exhibition "Images of Egypt" intend to reflect an ancient landscape in radical transformation.

"Images of Egypt" shows the monumental book Description de l'Égypte (1809-1829) with the amazingly detailed illustrations of Napoleonic drawings, but also the image flood that followed the wake of the French invasion and which made ancient Egypt a part of western modernity. Temples, obelisks and sarcophagi were exported to the whole world; followed by newspaper reports on groundbreaking logistics and engineering, sketches and prints, panoramas, paintings, photography and postcards. "Images of Egypt" shows works in this tradition; among them exclusive Sévres porcelain, commissioned by Napoleon, architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel's scenographs to Mozart's Magic Flute (1815) and David Hockney's sensational scenarios for the same 1977 opera, recently excavated plaster antiques from the film set of Cecil B. DeMille's biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1923) and Factum Foundation's facsimile of Seti's sarcophagus (in collaboration with Arte).

Visit the museum's website.

Venice: Homo Faber, Veronese, workshop
Venice: Homo Faber, Veronese, workshop

During the exhibition Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future (14-30 Sept. 2018) at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, two works by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese were digitised with the foundation's Lucida 3D scanner. In collaboration with Open Care's Department of Conservation and Restoration (Milan), Factum Foundation is scanning Veronese's diptych, depicting the Prophet Isaiah and the Prophet Ezekiel, owned by the Gallerie dell'Accademia. The data, gathered before and after the diptych's restoration, will be used to inform and document the cleaning of the paintings.

As part of this initiative, a practical workshop on surface 3D scanning was carried out by a team from Factum Foundation on September 21st - applications open here.

Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli
Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli

The recording of the tomb of Cardinal Tavera initiated a collaboration with the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli that is a great example of what is possible when different foundations work together to record, archive, analyse, preserve and communicate the importance of Cultural Heritage.

The first stage of the work, the complete high-resolution recording of the tomb is now finalised. The captured data was processed using the photogrammetry software Reality Capture.

Read more.

Recording of 11 shabti figurines of Seti I
Recording of 11 shabti figurines of Seti I

A team from Factum Foundation has started the photogrammetric recording of eleven shabti statuettes from the tomb of Seti I (1290-1279BC) in the Valley of the Kings. These statuettes are part of the permanent collection of the Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna (MCABo). The information recorded will be included in a virtual rendition of Giovanni Battista Belzoni's 1821 exhibition at the Egyptian Hall in London, a digital monograph part of the Brown University digital publishing initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This will hopefully be the first step toward a future collaboration to preserve and enhance the MCA's Egyptian collection.

Shabtis
Ten statuettes are made of wood and one of faïence. Highly artistic in quality and larger in size, the latter shows the sovereign with the regal nemes headdress, the usekh pectoral as well as wide bracelets on his wrists, dotted with cobalt blue on a ground lapis lazuli. These shabtis, discovered in 1817 by Belzoni in the pharaoh’s tomb along with hundreds of other specimens, were created to be resuscitated magically through the formula written on their bodies - Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead - responding to their owner (shabti means “answerer”) and standing in his stead in the agricultural work of the afterlife. The weeding hoes in the ruler’s hands and the sack for seeds on his shoulders served this purpose.

The Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna
The MCA of Bologna contains the exceptional archaeological collections from the former Museo Universitario, the donated collection of painter Pelagio Palagi, and from the excavations effected in Bologna and the surrounding area between the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

The Lucida Lab Milano recording J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts
The Lucida Lab Milano recording J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts

A team from the Lucida Lab Milano started the recording of J. B. Jackson's Chiaroscuro woodcuts, in Palazzo Sturm, Bassano del Grappa's Civic Museum. Palazzo Sturm is one of the few museums in Italy dedicated to showing every aspect of Remondini’s industrial process within the 16th and 17th centuries as well as the phases in the production of books, decorated papers, religious and popular print makings, games, optical views, etchings and woodcuts.

Read more about the Lucida Lab Milano.

Registration opening: Digital Transformation teaching programme
Registration opening: Digital Transformation teaching programme

The registration is now open for the Digital Transformation teaching programme that will be given by Carlos Bayod Lucini, Project Director at Factum Foundation. The programme is an initiative from the Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado and will be held in Madrid from 6 to 27 March 2019.

About the programme: Digital technology is changing methods and results in both artistic creation and heritage conservation. The growing advances in software and capturing systems (3D scanning, photogrammetry), visualization (virtual reality, augmented reality) and manufacturing (3D printing) are making possible a different interaction with our cultural environment. The diffusion of new technologies and their combination with traditional techniques greatly increase the creative and productive possibilities. The figure of the digital craftsman appears, a mediator between the physical and virtual world, while multidisciplinary teams are increasingly necessary for the development of innovative artistic projects. The new technologies favor, in short, the development of complex creative processes in which digital allows a more direct access to the material.

More information on the Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado's website.

'Saved by the Bell!' - The Resurrection of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
'Saved by the Bell!' - The Resurrection of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Factum Foundation is launching a new initiative in partnership with The United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) to resurrect the historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a working foundry for the 21st century. The WBF was acquired in 2017 and the manufacture of the bells which have continuously been made at the site since the reign of Elizabeth I ceased.

The Factum Foundation & UKHBPT proposal presents an innovative vision for the future of one of the United Kingdom's finest cultural and heritage assets, bringing internationally renowned artists and craftspeople together with the local community in an endeavour to ensure its future as an economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially engaged space. The aim of the proposal document is to convince the current owners of the building, Raycliffe Whitechapel LLP, either to participate in the resurrection of the WBF, or to sell the property to allow this to happen.

Read the full proposal, prepared by Skene Catling de la Peña.

Recording Parmigianino's self-portrait in Vienna
Recording Parmigianino's self-portrait in Vienna

A few days ago, Factum Foundation's team went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna to record Parmigianino's self-portrait in a Convex Mirror (1524). This small painting, measuring just about 20 cm in diameter, is one of the masterpieces in the museum's Picture Gallery. The Lucida 3D Scanner was used to obtain detailed information of the panel's surface, which has a characteristic convex shape and very subtle texture, as well as its back side. Additionally, the painting was recorded with high-resolution photography and photogrammetry. The data will be used for documentation and dissemination purposes in collaboration with the KHM.

Factum Arte's profile, by Patek Philippe
Factum Arte's profile, by Patek Philippe

"The idea really is something like the old renaissance workshops where people with many different skills, work to pursue a common goal." In his interview by Patek Philippe Magazine, Adam Lowe talks about Factum Arte, Factum Foundation, the creative energy that animates the workshops and the contemporary artists, artisans and secular masterpieces that run them.

To know more about the articulation of this unique place where artists, technicians and artisans join their passions and experiment with cutting-edge technologies, like art students in a playground, you can watch this video and read the corresponding article published by Patek Philippe Magazine.

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