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Final stages of the recording in the tomb of Seti I
Final stages of the recording in the tomb of Seti I

A team from Factum Foundation is currently in Luxor during the final stages of the recording of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, carrying out composite photography recording.

Once the work is complete, our attention will focus on establishing Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative (TNPI) as an autonomous and independent documentation, archiving and training centre. It is currently run as a collaboration between Factum Foundation, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the University of Basel. Its funding comes almost entirely from Factum but the aim is to demonstrate that this work can bring revenue for the Ministry while being self-supporting.

We wish to thank everyone who has worked on this project and made it possible. It is also the right moment to remember both Piers Wardle and Mohammed Ghaba who worked with Factum in the Valley of the Kings, but are no longer here to see this amazing work come to a conclusion.


AOA ARCHiVe Online Academy 2021

As part of the Fondazione Cini’s 70th anniversary celebrations, a special lecture on September 27 (4:30-6:30 PM CET) was held by Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation, and Frédéric Kaplan from EPFL, presenting the project to digitise the entire island of San Giorgio Maggiore started in 2020. Click here to watch.

The Giorgio Cini Foundation, within the ARCHiVe project, presents for 2021 an online training program of 30 lessons divided into 4 thematic areas and a special presentation dedicated to the digitisation of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Foundation. More on AOA - ARCHiVe Online Academy


A New Publication: <i>The Aesthetics of Marble</i>
A New Publication: The Aesthetics of Marble

Coming Soon

The Aesthetics of Marble: From Late Antiquity to the Present, by Dario Gamboni, Gerhard Wolf and Jessica Richardson aims to shed new light on the celebration and uses of marble in art and literature and on the iconic potential of the stone.

Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling contributed with an essay titled ‘Articulate Stones in the Digital Age. Wrinkles, Scars, Blotches, Bruises, Fractures, Mutilations, Amputations, Dislocations and Restorations’.

If you want to know more about this publication or if you need a copy, please email: info@factumfoundation.org


The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry

The 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry (August 12-13 2021), focussed on the current challenges of the spaces and milieus of the history, present and future manufacturing industry. Charlotte Skene Catling and Adam Lowe presented the AALTOSIILO as keynote speakers in this event organised by the Alvar Aalto Academy together with the City of Jyväskylä and several other partners. The 2-day programme included besides speeches and conversations, architectural excursions, exhibitions and various public events.


Factum Foundation and RCU: final phase

Factum Foundation is delighted to announce that the project to record the Nabataean, Dadanite and Lihyanite heritage in the AlUla oasis in high-resolution 3D and colour is in its final phase after two years of intensive work.

Over the past month of recording, the focus moved away from the tomb façades and inscriptions and towards the environments in which they sit. The outcrops from which the tombs were carved in Hegra, the World Heritage Site in AlUla, were recorded in their entirety using photogrammetry.

More on the project


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.
More on the project


Factum and Colnaghi: recording a 16th century tapestry
Factum and Colnaghi: recording a 16th century tapestry

Factum Foundation and Colnaghi are developing an increasingly close relationship. This month we have completed the full colour and 3D recording of both sides of an important tapestry by Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502-1550) woven in about 1530. It is the only surviving tapestry from a series of nine works commissioned by Henry VIII, depicting the life of St. Paul. The resulting digital passport of the object will be essential to monitor the condition of the tapestry and will be used for conservation and research purposes. The data will also inform a study into the stresses placed on the threads holding the tapestry together and will inform a digital reconstruction of the original colour.

More on the project


Recording in Venice: Titian's <i>La Sapienza</i>
Recording in Venice: Titian's La Sapienza

For the exhibition 'Tizians Frauenbild' (5 October 2021 - 16 January 2022) at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien, Factum Foundation carried out the recording of Titian’s La Sapienza (c. 1560) at the Biblioteca Marciana.

The painting was recorded on June 16th in Venice using composite photography by Gabriel Scarpa, with the aim of producing a facsimile that was on display on the vaulted ceiling while the original was in Wien for the exhibition.

More on the project


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
More on the Toledo Network


The <B>A</B>ALTO<B>S</B>IILO Project
The AALTOSIILO 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 info@factumfoundation.org.


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


Tutankhamun 2022
Tutankhamun 2022

Next year is the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter and his team. Factum's 3D and colour data, recorded in 2009, is in demand and we are following instructions from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities about how to make the data accessible.

Our 3D-modelling team is currently working on a new 4K model of the tomb that will demonstrate the importance of high-resolution recording.

More on Factum's work on Tutankhamun


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.

More on this project


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


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