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April 2016


Factum Foundation events over the past month

  • London, England: Recorded the translucent alabaster Seti I Sarcophagus in Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

  • Paris, France: Musée du Louvre and Chateau de Breteuil: Scanned the Table of Teschen and completed the facsimile

  • Valley of The Kings, Egypt: Commenced the major scanning of the Tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor

  • Luxor, Egypt: Began major architectural restoration of Hassan Fathy’s Stoppelaere House, to be the headquarters of our new 3D Scanning and training Centre

  • Algarve, Portugal: Scanned a Menhir in high resolution for the artist Harmen Brethouwer

  • Kala Koreysh, Daghestan: Preparation for the recording of 8th century Islamic tombstones

In March a team from Factum Foundation was sent to Sir John Soane’s Museum to record the Seti I Sarcophagus using photogrammetry. This ties in with another of the Foundation´s projects that commences at the end of April: the recording of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor (this was first initiated by Factum Arte back in 2001!)
Since the beginning of April Shamil Shikhsaidov and Gennady Viktorov from Daghestan have been in Madrid, sharing information and learning about the 3D and colour recording systems used at Factum Arte as part of our ongoing collaboration with the Peri Foundation. The knowledge they gain will be put into practice in May to record the tombstones at Kala Koreysh near Derbent, in Daghestan: a remote mountain site of great importance in the spread of Islam in the region from the 8th C. Many of the new projects demonstrate how photogrammetry is playing a critical and increasing role in the accurate, rapid recording of cultural heritage sites and antiquities. Because of the need for faster and more efficient 3D and image capture, the Foundation has recently finalised an agreement with Autodesk to work closely on processing high-resolution photogrammetry using server farms on the Cloud. This has major implications for the application of this technology in the documentation of cultural heritage. Some of the most important questions are:

What does high-resolution mean?
What types of data are meaningful in the preservation of cultural heritage?
How should the technology be applied?

These questions are central to the preservation of the collective memories embedded in objects and the practical issues relating to the way they can be saved for future generations. Factum Foundation is providing paid employment to areas desperately in need: we are training people in new skills, encouraging traditional craft and scholarship, revealing great stories and showing that culture is far more than a leisure activity. It is critical to the Factum ethos that all this knowledge is freely available: what Factum Foundation does is not for profit: it is for the benefit of all!

But we do need help to continue these programmes and develop new ones.
Factum Foundation is a charity urgently in need of your help and financial support.
PLEASE get involved and make a donation here, and encourage your friends to do the same.
All donations, however small, will be very gratefully received and will allow us to keep going!

www.factum-arte.com   |   www.factumfoundation.org

 
 

The Facsimile of the Teschen Table

The facsimile of the Table of Teschen is an extraordinary object. If the original symbolised the intersection between art, design, politics and the natural sciences in the 18th century, the facsimile demonstrates what is possible when digital technologies work hand-in-hand with traditional craft skills. A full recording of the table was made by a team of four from Factum Arte in July 2015 at the Musée du Louvre. This involved Factum Arte’s Lucida 3D scanner (focussing on low relief, and one of the few 3D systems that can record gold), the Breuckmann white-light scanner, composite photography, accurate measuring, recording the Teschen book housed within the table itself and notes on the condition and surface of the table. Making the facsimile involved advanced output technologies including CNC milling, various types of 3D printing, waterjet cutting, multi-layered printing onto gesso coated aluminium and centrifugal casting. This was done in conjunction with highly-skilled craftsmen who were casting and chasing bronze, cutting stones, patinating gold, turning wood, and bookbinding. The facsimile demonstrates what can be achieved when digital and physical artisans work together to produce an uncompromising and articulate object. In March 2016, the unfinished facsimile of the table top was taken to Galerie J. Kugel in order to conduct a side-by-side comparison with the original in the presence of Nicholas Kugel, Henri-François de Breteuil, François de Breteuil and Bertrand de Vignaud, each of whom have an intimate knowledge and understanding of the importance of the table and a strong familiarity with the Table´s most minute detail. They were delighted with the progress of the facsimile, and were able to provide useful advice and insight on how to further improve its likeness to the original. The final corrections are now being made and the facsimile will soon take its place in the Chateau de Breteuil.

 

The sarcophagus of Seti I

The recording of the Sarcophagus of Seti I in Sir John Soane’s Museum marked the launch of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative and demonstrated the close relationship that has been developed between the museum and Factum Foundation. Seti’s tomb is the largest and most decorated tomb in the necropolis but, for its preservation, has been closed to the public since the late 1980s. The 16th of October, 2017 will mark the 200th anniversary of Giovanni Battista Belzoni’s discovery of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings and the work to record both the tomb and fragments removed in the nineteenth century will be the focus of attention. Photogrammetry was used to record the Sarcophagus of Seti I in the confined space of the crypt in Sir John Soane’s museum. Over 4,500 images were taken on a Canon5DSR (50 megapixel) over a five-day period. These are now being stitched together, in collaboration with Autodesk, to form a 3D model that will facilitate an in-depth study of the surface and shape of the sarcophagus. The data will be used to digitally restore the sarcophagus to the way it looked at the time it entered Soane’s collection. Joseph Gandy’s watercolours show it as a white alabaster form with blue inlay - but time, the English climate, and attempts to conserve it have changed its appearance. The plan is to make a facsimile of the sarcophagus that will eventually be installed in the facsimile of the tomb, that will be located next to the facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun, at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings.

 

Factum Arte in Egypt

Factum Foundation is undertaking an architectural restoration of major importance in bringing back to life Hassan Fathy’s Stoppelaere House. Located at the entrance of the Valley of the Kings, it will become the scanning and training centre during the documentation of the Tomb of Seti I. Three Lucida Scanners built by Factum Arte to Manuel Franquelo’s design, with their equipment and software, have left for Luxor to supply the 3D scanning centre. This will open as soon as works on this wonderful building, carried out by Tarek Waly, are complete. This project is a partnership between the Factum Foundation, the Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt, and the University of Basel, and is based on the transfer of skills and technology. Aliaa Ismael, a graduate from the American University in Cairo, has been fully trained at Factum Arte over the past 18 months. She can now build a 3D scanner from scratch, fix it in the field and train others to do the same! Aliaa will train members of the Antiquities department from Luxor and work on the recording of the Tomb of Seti I.

The work in Egypt is a perfect example of what is possible when technology is applied in an efficient and effective way.

Photo: plan of the area showing
1. Carter´s Museum
2. Facsimilie of the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62)
3. Proposed location for the Facsimile of the Tomb of Seti I (KV17)
4. Stoppelaere house: Future 3D Scanning Training centre
5. Japanese Mission


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