Having returned from the Valley of the Kings in December 2016, Pedro Miró has begun post-processing the different datasets recorded of the tomb of Seti I. This process involves the production of a facsimile of a section of the tomb in alabaster. Read here a full report on work completed in 2016 in Egypt.
The New Yorker has published an article on Factum. Daniel Zalewski´s text gives an insight into the world of Factum and explains the processes developed to help contemporary artists realise their ideas and the Foundation's approach to the preservation of cultural heritage.
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Our collaboration with Strawberry Hill House is reaching critical mass! Over the past few days, 33 drawings by George Vertue were recorded along with their frames at Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe. The copies of the drawings in their specially designed frames will be recreated and returned to the recently-restored room. More research is needed but it would be wonderful to see the original Holbein, Vertue copies and Factum Foundation's facsimiles together.
Alexander Peck and Ferdinand Saumarez Smith from the Factum Foundation spent several days in late 2016 mapping and documenting rock art sites in Northern Chad. The team, in collaboration with the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA) used an array of different recording methods to digitise the site and hope with their results will put Northern Chad back on the map for its extraordinary concentration of African rock art.
Eight fragments from the tomb of Seti I have been recorded with the Lucida 3D Scanner at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for their re-materialisation and re-integration into the future facsimile of the entire tomb. So far, the gathered data is being processed and 3D models are being generated and materialised. This phase is part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative.
Factum Arte is in the process of routing the oak facsimile of the mosque doors at Kala-Koreysh (Daghestan). They are being routed at the highest possible resolution to fit the current frames and facilitate their reintegration into the mosque. Click here for more news.
On October 26th, 2016 Factum Arte carried out a 3D scanning of Saint Bartholomew, a XIV C. panel by Simone Martini, at the Met. The surface of the tempera on wood panel with gold ground was recorded using a Lucida 3D scanner. The students from the Heritage Preservation Program at Columbia University's GSAPP participated of the demo under the supervision of Ronald Street and Conservator MIchael Alan Miller. Read more news here.
Factum Foundation is proud to announce that the full excavation, 3D recording and safe reburial of the Cochno Stone is now complete. The Cochno Stone is Scotland’s largest and best examples of Neolithic / Bronze Age cup and ring markings dating from 3000 to 2000 BC. The 3D data has now been post-processed and the team hopes this might shed some light on the reasons the markings were made. Read more news here.
The restoration work of Hassan Fathy´s Stoppelaere House is progressing rapidly and efficiently. Tarek Waly´s studio and team of local artisans from Qaurna have now completed the vast majority of the work and the 3D documentation training center is expected to start operating by mid-2017. Read more news here.
The new book scanner designed to record fragile manuscripts in Daghestan is now complete. The scanner will be used to digitise books at the State Archive in Makachkala and record manuscripts around the country in the collections of Islamic scholars, madrassas and Mosques. Click here for more news.
Lucida Lab Milano is a laboratory specialized in digital technology in conservation, launched thanks to a collaboration between Factum Foundation and Open Care Milano (a Milan-based conservation and restoration laboratory and art services workshop). The scanning studio is run by Carlos Bayod and Guendalina Damone. More news here.
Architect Takek Waly's team in front of Stoppelaere's House, Hassan Fathy's mud brick building at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. The team is creating a home for the Foundation's 3D scanning, archiving and training centre.
Stopplaere's House is being transformed into a training centre for local Egyptians where they will learn how to preserve their own precious, yet precarious cultural heritage through the use of digital technology. This is one of many inspiring and important Foundation projects that desperately need your support.
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The Foundation is determined to ensure through the use of the most advanced digital technology available to us that future generations inherit our physical heritage through truly accurate recording and open source dissemination of the object’s condition as we received it and where it can be studied in depth and enjoyed by all. Where this requires the creation of facsimiles to preserve the original and make the digitally perfect derivative available to a global public then we will be there.
Your contributions will help us continue our work which also includes the investigation and development of new technologies and training local artisans globally in these technologies.
A Battalion of Cameras
I was reading Paul Fussell’s wonderful and wise The Great War and Modern Memory recently – it’s like a long, gentle, entirely benign tutorial of the old style. A calm and articulate text intersected frequently and intelligently with lines of verse, contemporary comment, vivid paragraphs, poignant letters, entire poems, bawdy songs, simple couplets, explaining in a literary sense how the Great War (and also the subsequent one) changed a generation and created our world. It was written in 1975 – when the author knew where we had been and where we might be headed. It is built using what was written and then its context is interpreted so that the memorial helps us understand, reveals to us at least part of what makes us what we are.
That is the place that our cultural heritage – both literary and artistic – has in our lives. It is profoundly important and, sadly, often ignored or overlooked.
Here’s a section in the early part of the book which lays the ground for the later study of the various aspects of how man can be coerced into horror and what living in and with that horror feels like. The symbolism of ruined architectural elements standing starkly in view from the mud and mire and organised slaughter of the trenches was profound - this was Ypres. “At Ypres it was the famous Cloth hall, once a masterpiece of medieval Flemish civic building. Its gradual destruction by artillery and its pathetic final dissolution were witnessed by hundreds of thousands, who never forgot this eloquent emblem of what happens when war collides with art.”
It is our aim at the Foundation to record what we can of our physical heritage – be it a manuscript, surface, form, painting, marks, carving, site - so that the witness it bears may be understood and we and future generations might benefit from the power and objective beauty we can appreciate and the memorial we have been left.
War is a truly terrible thing and we see daily the human devastation and the physical destruction now occurring in, among other places, Syria and Iraq. The Art Newspaper reported recently that the British Ministry of Defence have suggested creating a Monuments Men type group, a specialist cultural protection unit, to preserve what can be preserved in battle zones. We would suggest digitally recording should be a key part of that solution - it can be done by reasonably skilled and well briefed individuals with just a normal DSLR camera, using photogrammetry. The resulting data then needs more technical processing work but that would be done in the safety of our workshops. The Foundation is training people now to do this work in non-conflict zones – extending this to those who need the skills in theatres of war can also be done.
Wherever the object, if it is part of our cultural heritage then we have a duty to record and to preserve it, if we have a chance – and, in many cases, we have that chance ........with your support and help.
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