In November, Factum Foundation will be travelling to Lagos and Benin City in Nigeria to train a Nigerian team from the new Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) and the Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria (NCMM) in photogrammetry for the 3D documentation of the Benin bronzes.
In mid-November, EMOWAA will be holding a ground-breaking ceremony for the EMOWAA Pavillion, their inaugural building, a research facility for field archaeology and 3D documentation designed by David Adjaye.
A Bronze Plaque looted from the Royal Palace of Benin, purchased by the Pitt Rivers Museum for five pounds in 1907 (accession number 1907.66.1) © Pitt Rivers Museum
On September 24th 2022, ‘FAREWELL TO THE HOPPERS’ was the first event of AaltoSiilo project produced by Factum Foundation as part of Oulu2026 culture programme.
The main show was offered by Finnish percussion group Transistori, who performed inside the iconic building by playing two industrial metal hoppers formerly used during the cellulose-making process. The group used the hoppers and funnels as percussion instruments during the performance, remixing and enhancing their sound using electronic beats, synthesizers and drum machines. The interior of the Silo acted as a resonating chamber, transforming the building into an urban-sized musical instrument.
Local DJs (Crash Doom, Miha, Otilia) and audiovisual artists (Ohmudog) also performed on the grounds surrounding the Silo.
'Recording Giulio Romano: Shape and Surface' is the first workshop organised by Factum Foundation and ARCHiVe in collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Te within the Scuola di Palazzo Te initiative. From September 12th until September 16th, the 30-hour workshop will introduce the theoretical and practical methodologies for digital recording, while carrying out a real digitisation project inside Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy.
The workshop will focus on recording specific art and architecture elements in Palazzo Te, mainly frescoes and stucco reliefs, employing close-range photogrammetry, panoramic composite photography, Lucida 3D Scanner and LIDAR 3D scanning (for interior and exterior spaces). The students will work with Factum and ARCHiVe's experts to carry out the digitisation tasks on site, which will result in new digital recording material of Giulio Romano's architectural masterpiece that, in line with Factum Foundation's principles, will be provided to Palazzo Te to help the preservation and study of the artworks.
Some of Giulio Romano's designs for Palazzo Te's decorative elements were found within Giorgio Cini's Library at ARCHiVe, establishing a unique link between the two projects. These designs will be compared with the results of the 2D/3D scans obtained during the workshop, with the aim of establishing an objective comparison between the original idea and the current condition of the elements.
More on the workshop
After the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Grayson Perry's Covid Bell was on show at the Founder's Hall of the Worshipful Company of Founders, during their annual Open House on September 10th and 11th.
The Founder's Company, with its first records documented in 1365, is one of the oldest craftsmen guilds in London and still has a very active fellowship. Today it runs three charities which have been successful in supporting a variety of people, many of whom are in the start of their career as either material scientists, or artists who work with metal.
Throughout history, bells have commemorated the dead and also celebrated the living. The Covid Bell continues and updates this tradition, also celebrating the artistic and technical skills of the metalworking industry. The bell was fabricated by Factum Arte and Factum Foundation, cast by Pangolin Foundry, Gloucestershire and tuned by Nigel Taylor working with Nicholson Engineering in Dorset, and was kindly donated by Grayson Perry to revitalise bell making in the UK following the highly publicised closure of Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
"The London Bell Foundry was formed to demonstrate that casting bells has a bright future, and Grayson’s generosity has made this possible. The next two artist bells will be made by Paula Crown and Conrad Shawcross." – Adam Lowe, Director of Factum Arte
Factum Foundation has collaborated with the Trust for African Rock Art and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments Nigeria on the exhibition ‘The Ancient Rock Art of Nigeria’ at the Nigerian National Museum in Lagos (May 5 – June 2, 2022). The display was curated by Terry Little and Ferdinand Saumarez Smith, and supported by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
Two facsimiles of Bakor monoliths, made from data recorded in 2018 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée du Quai Branly, were featured in the exhibition and will be returned to the Bakor region in July for permanent display at a new visitor centre at Alok, supported by the Carène Foundation.
An exhibition on the Bakor monoliths launches at The British Museum on November 17, 2022.
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Following the surface, colour and infrared recording of the seven Raphael Cartoons at the V&A in 2019, Factum Foundation and Factum Arte worked on the making of the facsimile of Paul Preaching at Athens Cartoon for the exhibition 'The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael' (9 April - 31 July, 2022) at the National Gallery.
As the original Cartoons are unable to travel, the recording and rematerialisation of the data is another example of how facsimile provide new ways to study, disseminate and display artworks, such as this series of preparatory cartoons made by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel tapestries, on long-term loan to the V&A by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.
Factum Foundation is carrying out a new digitisation and training initiative focussed on the unique series of Romanesque wall paintings removed from the Church of San Juan de Ruesta (Huesca) and other churches that form part of the ‘French route’ of the Camino de Santiago. The aim of the work is to obtain high-resolution records of the current condition of the paintings (both in colour and 3D) as the base for digital restoration, and hopefully, facsimiles.
In the 20th century, the removal of paintings from churches in north-eastern Spain using the strappo technique was a normal part of their preservation. The wall paintings originally covered the apse of the Church of San Juan de Ruesta, and after their removal, the church lost its function and its meaning and fell into near-total disrepair. An extensive restoration project carried out by Sergio Sebastián Arquitectos has recreated a new space from the old ruin.
A team from Factum Foundation worked with a group of graduate students from the Universidad de Zaragoza's Máster de Gestión de Patrimonio Cultural to record the wall paintings, now within the collection of the Museo Diocesano de Jaca. As part of Factum's 'learning by doing' educational model, the students recorded in the museum and in the church, employing different recording methodologies to understand the strengths and limitations of each. They are now merging and processing the data and carrying out a digital restoration of the damaged paintings.
ARCHiOx (Analysing and Recording Cultural Heritage in Oxford) is an exciting new project partnership between the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and the Factum Foundation, generously funded by The Helen Hamlyn Trust. The project will enable the practical transfer of knowledge and technology from the Factum Foundation to the Bodleian, including the permanent transfer of equipment and software to the Libraries.
More on the partnership
Video © University of Oxford
The Mausoleum of Ikhwat Yusuf is a Fatimid monument with later Ottoman additions located in Cairo’s Southern Cemetery at the foot of the Mokattam outcrop. The mausoleum is one of very few surviving Fatimid period (AD 969-1171) monuments in Egypt.
In March 2022, Osama Dawod and Otto Lowe arrived in Cairo and recorded the mausoleum’s stucco mihrab in high-resolution using photogrammetry. They also provided hands-on photogrammetry training at the site for inspectors from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, as part of a field training program ARCE coordinated to complement its work at the mausoleum.
ARCHiVe has completed the first high-resolution digital recording of one of the great tapestries owned by the Giorgio Cini collection: The Entry into Palestine of the Army of Vespasian. Dated between 1470 and 1480, it was recently identified as the right half of another textile work within the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Lyon, making its recording, conservation and restoration a priority for the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.
The digital documentation of the tapestry's surface is an essential step toward understanding its material structure.
In February 2022, Factum Foundation accompanied the Trust for African Rock Art on a project to record the Dabous Giraffe, located in the Aïr mountains in the north-east of Niger.
The remarkable engraved panel contains lifelike depictions of a larger and a smaller giraffe, with the former measuring 5.4m, as well as a small human figure. It was recorded using drone-based and close-range photogrammetry.
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Factum Arte and Factum Foundation have worked with Fondazione Palazzo Te to recreate the atmosphere that once welcomed the guests of the Gonzaga family for the visitors of the exhibition Le pareti delle meraviglie (26 March - 26 June, 2022).
After recording a 17th-century Leather wallpaper with flower vases inside the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in January 2022, different sets of data were processed merged in Factum's headquarters. The modular nature of the corame allowed Factum to make a recreation fitted to the spaces of the Camera dei Venti.
Daniele da Volterra, a close collaborator and friend of Michelangelo, inherited the house of the artist in Rome after his death. In two years, he produced a number of bronze casts of the Renaissance master, which are often thought to have derived from Michelangelo’s deathmask.
The exhibition 'The Bronze Effigy of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra' (15 February - 31 July, 2022), curated by Cecilie Hollberg at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Florence, reunites for the first time nine bronze busts from various collections around the world. Direct comparison has revealed both similarities and differences, and much debate still surrounds the 'genealogy' between the different casts.
Each of the busts was recorded by Factum Foundation’s experts using a structured white light scanner and photogrammetry, and during several months of work in the studios of Factum Foundation in Madrid, the busts were digitally "mapped" in their key points and correspondences, overlaid and compared in a unique research work.
The data was rematerialised as 3D-printed busts, which are on display next to their digital form and the original busts.
It is hoped that the exhibition will focus the debate and produce some informed responses.
Factum Foundation and Fondazione Palazzo Te have partnered up to carry out a vast high-resolution digitisation project inside three rooms within Palazzo Te. The palace, built as a place of leisure for the Gonzaga family in the mid 16th century, was designed and frescoed by Giulio Pippi, better known as Giulio Romano.
From January 17 until February 7, a team of digitisation specialists from ARCHiVe and Factum Foundation recorded in high resolution the Chamber of the Giants, the Chamber of Cupid and Psyche and the Hall of the Horses. The data, acquired using LiDAR, photogrammetry and composite photography, will belong to Fondazione Palazzo Te and help with the documentation, preservation, study and dissemination of the rooms, also enabling future diverse and innovative exhibition projects.
For the exhibition 'Le pareti delle meraviglie' (26 March - 26 June, 2022) a recreation of the Leather wall covering with flower vases, recorded last January in high resolution inside the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, will be on display inside the Sala dei Venti.
And at the same time, the 3D team at Factum Arte are currently working on the production of five physical objects designed by the artist for the exhibition 'Giulio Romano. La forza delle cose' (8 October, 2022 - 8 January, 2023).
Factum Foundation and the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) are delighted to announce that the first phase of their collaboration is now complete. The largest high-resolution 3D recording project ever carried in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and initiated over a year ago, aims at producing a 3D model of the archaeological sites of Hegra (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008), Dadan, Jabal Ikmah and Abu Ud.
The data from the recording is currently being processed and will be handed over to the Royal Commission for AlUla in the first months of 2022.
By the end of this year, we will have succeeded in carrying out the largest high-resolution recording project ever undertaken. We have recorded the vast majority of the tomb of Seti I at a verifiable resolution of 100 microns (100 million measured spatial points per square meter). The painted relief carvings have also been documented using composite colour photography at 600 PPI at 1:1.
Factum hopes that this is just the beginning and that the Egyptian team running the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative will continue to record other tombs and sites in the area, with practical support and back up from Factum’s team in Madrid, and the political support of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped to make this happen.
No longer a building for storing woodchips, the Silo is now an extraordinary piece of sculpture. Since July, Valentino Tignanelli and the team in Finland have cleared, cleaned and secured the building after decades of neglect; the pigeons no longer rule the roost. The most recent step, before the snow and freezing weather halted building work until spring, has been the installation of electricity and lighting.
Through the preservation of this great building, the goal is to create a new approach to the recording and reuse of industrial heritage. After an extremely positive meeting with the Oulu planning department, Skene Catling de la Peña are currently developing the design of the new Research Centre, and working with engineers eHRW and other Finnish partners to define a protocol for recycling large pieces of demolition waste.
"The Aaltosiilo project ends its first operational year with the building and plot of land fully cleaned and cleared. Plus, now for the first time in 40 years, the inside is lightened up by a new electricity network and dozens of working lights.
2022 will see the Siilo renovated in depth, with sustainable practices and innovative solutions that will hopefully allow us to host the first events and shared discussions with the community about its future. Everybody in Oulu is looking forward to the revitalisation of this iconic landmark and the work will continue at a fast pace, among Northern lights in the sky and snow in the ground!"
- Valentino Tignanelli, Project manager for AALTOSIILO
Symbolist artist Max Klinger first conceived his monument to Ludwig van Beethoven around 1885-86, when he was still a student in Paris. The idea is reported to have come to him "one fine evening at the piano". The final sculpture was unveiled at the exhibition of the Vienna Secession in 1902, in the same room where the Beethoven Frieze by Gustav Klimt was also on display.
The figure of Beethoven and the plinth was carved from several different types of stone, but the heads of the angels behind him are ivory. Due to their fragile preservation status, the Museum der Bildenden Künste in Leipzig reached out to Factum Foundation to create facsimiles of the heads and fit them in the original sculpture.