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Bishop Auckland: work for the Spanish Gallery is almost complete
Bishop Auckland: work for the Spanish Gallery is almost complete

Yeserías (carved plaster decorations) are the embodiment of the co-habitation of Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities in Spain. A number of yeserías were recorded in high-resolution throughout 2020 and 2021, using photogrammetry, LiDAR and the Lucida 3D Scanner in the Royal Alcázar and the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, the Casa de Mesa and the Sinagoga del Transito in Toledo. Facsimiles of the panels will form a plaster ‘lapidarium’ in the rooms created by Factum and Charlotte Skene Catling for the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland.
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AI, Tech Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution: an international symposium in Toledo
AI, Tech Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution: an international symposium in Toledo

From the 18th-19th June 2021, a symposium was held to discuss the use and application of advanced technologies in conflict and peacebuilding contexts. Organized by the Instituto de Resolución de Conflictos de la Universidad de Castilla la Mancha (UCLM) and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in collaboration with the Factum Foundation, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CITPax, the symposium called upon field experts, AI experts, diplomats, and academics from Spain and beyond to offer insight into the advancement of technology and its potential use for application in the field of mediation.

This symposium provided a platform for discussion amongst specialists to address both the negative aspects of machine learning and AI applied in conflict situations, as well as the positive uses of AI as a tool to achieving peace.

From the discussions held, the participants to the symposium established the ‘Toledo Declaration’, outlining eleven guidelines to form a European Initiative for ‘Technology diplomacy and Artificial Intelligence for conflict prevention and mediation’ endorsed by many partners.

Read the Toledo Declaration
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The <B>A</B>ALTO<B>S</B>IILO Project

Factum Foundation’s new project is the restoration and reuse of the Silo at the Toppila Pulp Mill (on the left of this image). Alvar and Aino Aalto's Silo was a woodchip store in a cellulose factory close to Oulu city centre, just south of the Arctic Circle.

We are working on ways to reuse the Silo as a creative research centre focused on the documentation of industrial buildings in northern Europe, on innovative technologies to record environmental change and research into sustainable materials including cellulose.

We are starting to assemble a group of friends of the AALTOSIILO project.
If you are interested in being part of this dynamic and rapidly-developing project please contact us at

Latest Article: <i>Interview: Factum Foundation’s Ferdinand Saumarez Smith on Preserving the Bakor Monoliths</i>
Latest Article: Interview: Factum Foundation’s Ferdinand Saumarez Smith on Preserving the Bakor Monoliths

Kate Fitz Gibbon from Cultural Property News interviewed Factum Foundation's Ferdinand Saumarez Smith on the challenge to identify and preserve the Bakor Monoliths, and on the projects on rock art carried out by the Foundation. "The trips we have done over the past five years have really been about documentation and dialogue. [...] We’ve brought skills and technology to the table which can make “first-aid” records. And we’ve tried to make it sustainable by offering 3D-documentation training and providing equipment like drones. But that has to go hand in hand with talking to the communities, because at the end of the day, they are going to be the people who preserve them long-term."
Read the full interview on Cultural Property News

Secretary of State permits boutique hotel on historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry site
Secretary of State permits boutique hotel on historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry site

It is with great sadness that we announce the outcome of the Planning Inquiry around the Church Bell Foundry in Whitechapel. Our sadness is really focused on the values that lie behind the decision. Consent has been granted to turn London´s oldest company, founded in 1570 and working until 2017, into a hotel, several restaurants, bars and a private members club.

Over four years of fighting, we have built a movement of like-minded people. With the help of Grayson Perry and other artists, we are now going to demonstrate how new markets for bells will celebrate the vital role they play within the public imagination. Factum Foundation would like to thank everyone who has done so much to support the revitalisation of the foundry.

Read Adam Lowe's full public statement

Photo © John Claridge

Recording the <i>Young Knight in a Landscape</i> in the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Recording the Young Knight in a Landscape in the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum

As part of a new collaboration between the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Factum Foundation, our experts just completed the recording of the Young Knight in a Landscape (1510) by Vittore Carpaccio, painter of the Venetian School. The painting, one of the most celebrated works in the museum’s collection, underwent a cleaning and restoration process and will form part of the exhibition ‘Carpaccio’s Knight: Restoration and technical study’ (17 May - 1 November 2021). If considered a portrait, the painting is the first known example in Western painting in which the sitter is depicted full-length.

Working closely with the Thyssen-Bornemizsa’s conservation team, who showed great interest in pushing the analysis of the painting further using Factum’s high-resolution recording methods, the Young Knight in a Landscape was digistised in 3D and colour in May 2021, along with its frame. The surface and colour data are in the process of being merged by a team of 2D and 3D specialists in Factum’s studios.

This will result in the production of a digital multi-layered viewer, which will act as a ‘digital passport’ of Carpaccio’s painting, providing information on its material state at the highest degree of accuracy. The dataset will be handed over to the museum’s team and will serve as a point of reference for any current and future analysis and research, while the museum will retain full ownership of the data recorded by Factum Foundation.

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On The Guardian: The bells v the boutique hotel: the battle to save Britain’s oldest factory
On The Guardian: The bells v the boutique hotel: the battle to save Britain’s oldest factory

'The final decision about the future of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry now rests with the secretary of state, and is expected in the coming week.'

The latest article on the fight to save a foundry based in Whitechapel since the reign of Elizabeth I, producing such bells as Big Ben, the Liberty Bell, Bow Bells and the Bells of St Clements. Hettie O'Brien tells the story of this historical site and the efforts of Re-Form and Factum Foundation to reopen it as a viable foundry.

Read on The Guardian
More on the battle to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

<i>Polittico Griffoni</i> facsimile installed in Bologna
Polittico Griffoni facsimile installed in Bologna

After the closing of the exhibition 'La riscoperta di un capolavoro' at Palazzo Fava, the facsimile of the Polittico Griffoni remained in the city of Bologna and was installed in Palazzo Pepoli. It will also return to the Basilica of San Petronio on the occasion of the city's patron saint day, in the Griffoni chapel for which the original was produced between 1471 and 1472, before it was removed in 1725, when the chapel was re-dedicated to the Aldrovandi family.

The project to record and replicate all the known panels, between 2012 and 2018, started as an initiative to return one of the masterpieces of the Bolognese Renaissance to the city. In October 2017, facsimiles of the sixteen panels were given to the Basilica of San Petronio. The exhibition organised in collaboration with Fabio Roversi Monaco and Genus Bononiae. Musei nella città was an extraordinary occasion to enable the reappraisal of the Renaissance altarpiece and to demonstrate how new technologies can help raise questions about originality and authenticity, offering new developments in curation and exhibition designs.

Photo © Paolo Righi per Genus Bononiae. Musei nella città.

The Raphael Cartoons at the V&A: the digital content is now available
The Raphael Cartoons at the V&A: the digital content is now available

On January 25 2021, the V&A launched a new online platform where the data from the Raphael Cartoons, recorded by Factum Foundation in high-resolution 3D, colour and infrared, was made available to the public for the first time. Through a new digital environment on the V&A’s website, users are now able to engage with the Cartoons in new ways and at an unprecedented level of detail. The dataset from the recording, which was supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, is accessible through a high-resolution multi-layer viewer where both the surface, colour and infrared information can be explored, ​with different datasets viewable either merged or separated out.

The refurbished Raphael Court will reopen to visitors when the museum reopened on 19 May 2021.

Adam Lowe on Benvenuto Cellini's <i>Crucifixion</i>
Adam Lowe on Benvenuto Cellini's Crucifixion

In his podcast 'Blood and Bronze' on BBC Radio, Jerry Brotton reveals how the Renaissance was a time of conflict as well as beauty, creativity and tyranny, by retracing the life of Benvenuto Cellini through his autobiography.

In episode 9, Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation, visits the Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial to talk about Cellini's Crucifixion, thanks to the collaboration of Patrimonio Nacional.

Listen to the podcast on BBC Radio 3

The Toledo International Platform on Cultural Heritage and conflict resolution
The Toledo International Platform on Cultural Heritage and conflict resolution

Factum Foundation welcomes the adoption of the EU Concept on Cultural Heritage in crisis and conflict, an important step in a new approach in mediation and conflict resolution. Stakeholders working with cultural heritage, political negotiation and peace-building have welcomed the initiative presented in November 2020 by Spain´s Ambassador-at-large for Mediation and Intercultural Dialogue at the EEAS/UNESCO Conference.

An international conference will be held at the end of September 2021 in Toledo to launch an international platform that will promote projects in the fields of cultural heritage and conflict resolution, supported by the Junta de Castilla la Mancha and other regional institutions as well as the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Factum Foundation is proud to join the Centro Internacional Toledo para la Paz (CITpax) and other international partners in this ambitious initiative.

Read the full press release

Reuniting a painting by Carpaccio
Reuniting a painting by Carpaccio

Factum Foundation has initiated an ambitious project involving the use of digital technologies for recording and re-materialisation of a divided panel painting by Carpaccio – the aim is to reunify the panels and analyse the missing area.

The painting known as Two Venetian Ladies (c. 1490), located at the Museo Correr in Venice, is the lower half of a larger panel that was cut down, possibly on each side and in the middle. The upper half being Hunting on the Lagoon, is at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, and the recording is currently under discussion. The panel at the Museo Correr was recorded in November 2020 with the assistance of Arteria. The panel was taken out of its protective case and placed on an easel before recording it using the Lucida 3D Scanner and composite photography. The data was processed in ARCHiVe.

New video: Digitising the sepulchre of Cardinal Tavera

The project involving the recording and replication of the sepulchre of Cardinal Tavera is a collaboration between Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, The Auckland Project and Factum Foundation. In May 2018, a team from Factum Foundation carried out the digitisation of the sepulchre in Toledo. Three complementary systems were used: photogrammetry, a structured white light scanner and LiDAR. The data was processed and merged together to form a high-resolution digital archive. It was then re-materialised using 3D printing and CNC milling. The results were then thoroughly worked on by the workshop team, moulded and cast in a resin simulating the qualities of the original marble.
© a video by Óscar Parasiego for Factum Foundation

Recording the <i>Glosas Emilianenses</i> at the Real Academia de la Historia
Recording the Glosas Emilianenses at the Real Academia de la Historia

Factum Foundation is working with the Fundación San Millán de la Cogolla on the digitisation of the Glosas Emilianenses, in Madrid’s Real Academia de la Historia. The glossa (annotations) in the Codex Aemilianensis 60 manuscript are considered to be the earliest surviving Castilian-language text. During the first week of April, Factum Foundation recorded several pages of the Glosas Emilianenses in high resolution, photographing the colour and using the Lucida 3D Scanner for the surface. The aim of the project is to enable further philological investigation into the parts that, until now, have been proving more difficult to read.

Since the creation of Factum Foundation, the preservation of manuscripts has played an important part of our digitisation initiatives, from the recording of the Beato de Liébana at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid to the world-class archive of more than 3000 Islamic manuscripts in Dagestan. This area of activity has also led Factum Arte’s technical and software engineering departments to develop several recording systems exclusively focussed on the recording of manuscripts, such as the photographic manuscript scanner or the portable manuscript scanner.

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Prêmio Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade 2020 webinar
Prêmio Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade 2020 webinar

The recreation of the Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká was awarded with the Prêmio Rodrigo Melo Franco de Andrade 2020, organised by the Brazilian National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) since 1987 for the dissemination of knowledge and intangible heritage.

Pirata Waurá presented the project on March 25 (8pm GMT) on occasion of the webinar which will go live on Iphan's Youtube channel.
Go to Iphan's Youtube channel

European Union conference in Toledo: Cultural Heritage and conflict resolution
European Union conference in Toledo: Cultural Heritage and conflict resolution

Factum Foundation is working with the European Commission, Aliph, the Aga Khan Foundation and other cultural foundations, institutes and agencies to organise a conference in Toledo in June 2021 about heritage documentation, preservation and conflict resolution.

This International Conference is to discuss and promote the European Union’s new policy on heritage documentation as part of conflict resolution. This represents a significant change in the approach to the preservation of cultural heritage. The conference will acknowledge the importance of the training and the transfer of both skills and technologies to local communities, as a peace-building tool.

Recording and facsimile project for the Benaki Museum
Recording and facsimile project for the Benaki Museum

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the formation of the Greek State, the Rothschild Foundation has commissioned a facsimile of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of John Capodistria, painted at the Congress of Vienna in 1818-19. The painting normally hangs in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, and forms part of the Royal Collection, and sits in the company of other major figures who participated in the remoulding of post-Napoleonic Europe.

With the generous collaboration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Collection, the portrait of John, Count Capo d'Istria (1776-1831) was recorded on 11th-12th and 19th August 2020 by a team from Factum Foundation at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, where it formed part of the Royal Collection exhibition ‘George IV Art and Spectacle’. It was then re-materialised as a facsimile in Factum Arte’s Madrid studios.

The facsimile will be presented in an early nineteenth-century English gilt frame and will be included in the exhibition ‘1821 Before and After’ at the Benaki Museum in Athens (dates to be announced).

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Four years ago in Luxor: Stoppelaëre House was opened as TNPI's training centre
Four years ago in Luxor: Stoppelaëre House was opened as TNPI's training centre

In February, four years ago, the director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova and Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled al-Anany opened the Stoppelaëre House Training Centre.

It was the first architectural restoration by Factum Foundation and it is currently being used as the 3D Scanning, Training and Archiving Centre for the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative.

The entirely Egyptian team, almost all from the West Bank in Luxor, will hopefully finish the complete recording of the tomb of Seti I this year.

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