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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.

More on the project


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 was presented in an early nineteenth-century English gilt frame in the exhibition ‘1821 Before and After’ at the Benaki Museum in Athens (March 3 - November 7 2021).

More on the project


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.


Factum Foundation and RCU: current progress on recording Nabataean heritage in AlUla
Factum Foundation and RCU: current progress on recording Nabataean heritage in AlUla

Factum Foundation’s team is currently finishing the ground recording of the Nabataean heritage site of Hegra and the Dadanite site of Dadan, expecting to soon move to Jabal Ikmah and Abu Ud. Commissioned by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), this work is the largest high-resolution 3D recording project carried out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is aimed at producing 3D models that will prove essential for the dissemination, condition monitoring and conservation of the heritage landmarks and cultural legacy of the Nabataean, Dadanite and Lihyanite cultures in and around the AlUla oasis.

More on the project


Ceilings for the Spanish Gallery at Bishop Auckland
Ceilings for the Spanish Gallery at Bishop Auckland

By merging 3D recording, 3D modelling, virtual simulation, architectural details and craftsmanship, we are revisiting the relationship between Islamic, Christian and Jewish influcences on Spanish interior design.

The workshops are filled with a variety of ceilings that will form part of the exhibition display at Bishop Auckland. After months of work, the four complete ceilings will be leaving Madrid in a few days to be installed in the Spanish Galleries in the north-east of England.

More on the exhibition display


Recording the <i>Sacrifice at Lystra</i> tapestry in Mantua
Recording the Sacrifice at Lystra tapestry in Mantua

Between February 24th until the first week of March, a team from Factum Foundation has been recording the tapestry made after Raphael's Cartoon The Sacrifice at Lystra at Palazzo Ducale in Mantua. The recording, arranged with Arnold Nesselrath, is part of the ongoing research into the production of tapestries and the cartoons from which they were made.

The data from the high-resolution recording in 3D, colour and infrared of the Cartoons in 2019 was made public on the V&A's website a few weeks ago.

We hope the recording of the tapestry of the Sacrifice at Lystra in Mantua will launch a digital humanities research project in the relationship between the production of the cartoons and the production of the tapestries.


Premio a la Promoción y difusión Cultural 2020
Premio a la Promoción y difusión Cultural 2020

We are delighted to have been awarded the Premio a la Promoción y difusión Cultural 2020-21 offered by the Museo Liceo Egipcio in Léon, Spain.

'MLE Award for Cultural Promotion and Diffusion: Since its creation in 2001 by the hand of artists, technicians and curators, and through its offices in Madrid, Milan and London, Factum Foundation has created an innovative approach in the fields of conservation and dissemination of artistic works through design of equipment and software and its implementation in numerous projects of different periods and characteristics. The digital information obtained from their works has been used for the documentation, monitoring and production of 2D and 3D facsimiles, which reproduce the complex surface and characteristics of the original works. Among his projects we can mention his scanning work in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt or his digitization of 'The Wedding at Cana' of Veronese, among many others that were successfully completed.' (from the MLE website)

Our work in the Valley of the Kings through the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the University of Basel, is demonstrating what new technologies can do for the preservation of cultural heritage. We wish to thank our Egyptian team, with everyone from Luxor and the West Bank except Aliaa Ismail, originally from Cairo, which is working on the recording in high resolution of the tomb of Seti I and all its fragments.


Installation of a Canon Elevated Printer in Factum's Madrid workshops
Installation of a Canon Elevated Printer in Factum's Madrid workshops

We are delighted to bring our collaboration with Canon Production Printing to the next level with the installation of an elevated printing system in our workshops in Madrid. Factum Arte and Factum Foundation have been working closely with Canon since 2015, applying their elevated printing technology to the reproduction of exact facsimiles using Factum’s approach to 3D scanning and colour management.

The new solution will enable us to use a Canon customised flatbed UV printer to print multiple stacked layers in Factum’s workshops, resulting in the re-creation of the surface of paintings that are accurate to a few microns.

More on Factum's 3D printing outputs


Cultural Heritage and Conflict Resolution
Cultural Heritage and Conflict Resolution

Factum Foundation is thrilled that the European Commission has, for the first time, introduced Cultural Heritage as a key instrument in conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Council Conclusions adopted on 6 December 2020. In a far-reaching move, the EU is spearheading an important shift in the way we understand culture and historical heritage, beyond the cliché of a tourist magnet associated with leisure and relaxation. We hope that this is the beginning of a new role that European Commission and the Member States can play in preserving our heritage and giving it a deeper and more relevant meaning in the political agenda.

We welcome the initiative presented recently by the Ambassador at large for Mediation and Intercultural Dialogue, Ramón Blecua, in the recent EEAS/UNESCO Conference, to hold an international conference in Toledo and create a platform that will promote projects in the field of cultural heritage and conflict resolution.


Progress on the Spanish Gallery installation for Bishop Auckland
Progress on the Spanish Gallery installation for Bishop Auckland

Between 2018 and 2020, in collaboration with Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, paintings, sculptures and architectural elements were recorded in high-resolution at various locations in Toledo and Seville. This data has now been processed and Factum's technicians and artisans are now focussing on adapting and recreating ceilings, tiles, floors and several other elements for the exhibition display at Bishop Auckland Castle.

The elevated printing technology by Canon Production Printing and Factum's expertise in printing the colour were essential in recreating the surface detail of the cuenca and cuerda seca-style Renaissance tiles that decorate the walls of Casa de Pilatos in Seville. The first recording was done in 2018 as part of a project carried out with the students of Columbia University.


Recording the chart of Juan de la Cosa at the Museo Naval in Madrid
Recording the chart of Juan de la Cosa at the Museo Naval in Madrid

From 25th to 27th January, Factum Foundation carried out the recording of the Chart of Juan de la Cosa, from the collection of the Museo Naval in Madrid.

Signed by the Spanish cartographer in 1500, the Chart of Juan de la Cosa is the first world map to depict America. The New World is rendered in green (a nod to its vegetation) and at larger scale than the monochrome Old World, and the map incorporates information from the many exploratory expeditions of the 1490s, such as those of John Cabot, Christopher Columbus, Bartolomé Diaz and Vasco de Gama. The map's large size (96 x 186 cm) and rich artistic decoration using Catholic themes make it probable that it was produced for Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain.

Factum Foundation has recorded the parchment map using non-contact technologies: the Lucida 3D Scanner for the surface and composite photography for the colour. The digital data will belong to the Museo Naval for study and conservation purposes.

An exact facsimile of the map will also be produced and will be part of the exhibition display at the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland, due to open in July 2021, and will subsequently be donated to the Museo Naval.

More on the recording
More on the Bishop Auckland project


Archaeologists' Day in Egypt
Archaeologists' Day in Egypt

On January 14th Factum Foundation and the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative team, with everyone from Luxor and the West Bank except Aliaa Ismail, TNPI’s lead, originally from Cairo but now based in Luxor, celebrated the Egyptian Archaeologists' Day.

Currently working in the tomb of Seti I, the TNPI was the first mission to resume work in July 2020 after more than 100 days of interruption imposed by COVID-19 crisis, and is the only Egyptian team devoted to high-resolution 3D recording in Luxor. Since July, progress has been made in scanning the burial chamber, Chamber F and Room Je.

We want to thank the University of Basel and the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt for supporting the work of the scanning team, which is officially working in the Valley of the Kings since 2009, after Factum’s first project in Egypt in 2001.

You can browse the 3D virtual model of the tomb of Seti I, launched in September 2020 in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, or view the individual high resolution browsers of each panel.

More on the TNPI
Read the TNPI 2020 Report


Fragments of the past: rematerialising Cardinal Tavera's tomb  in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Escultura
Fragments of the past: rematerialising Cardinal Tavera's tomb in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Escultura

In collaboration with the Spanish Museo Nacional de Escultura and in agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Culture, Factum Foundation carried out the recording of the missing fragments from the sepulchre of Cardinal Tavera, sculpted in 1552 by Alonso Berruguete. The white marble sepulchre was damaged during the Civil War and plaster fragments from the only cast of the original have been since kept in storage within the Museo Nacional de Escultura.

The data from recording of the plaster casts in high resolution will be digitally integrated into a 3D model of the sepulchre. This digital restoration project is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli and it will allow the sculpture to be seen in its most complete state since the Civil War.


The hand of the artist from 3D surface data
The hand of the artist from 3D surface data

Factum Foundation has initiated a collaboration with a team from the Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Art History and Art Departments at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The goal is to apply machine learning methods to surface profilometry images of paintings in order to attribute stylistic components of brushwork in some of the later paintings of El Greco, with the aim of exploring differences between the hand of El Greco, those of his son Jorge Manuel and his workshop, and later conservation interventions.

More on the project


The London Bell Foundry
The London Bell Foundry

The London Bell Foundry has been formed by the partnership that has spent almost four years fighting to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Our aim is to re-start casting bells on the site in Whitechapel where they have been made for hundreds of years.

While we await the decision of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government following the public inquiry, we will be launching a series of bell-related artist editions. More information will be posted as the work starts. Further information will follow shortly. We will be merging historic bell-making skills with new digital output and recording technologies.

On the Whitechapel Bell Foundry project

For updates, follow us on Twitter @SaveTheWBF


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