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DigiCULT
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6
while protecting the originals, with the
added advantage of all the facilities that a
museum can offer.
R
econstructions can also be used
by archaeologists and historians
to help answer questions about
ancient civilisations and how they lived.The
use of replicas, rather than original objects,
in research and study helps to conserve the
originals by protecting them from potential
damage from handling.This is particularly
important for objects with vulnerable surfa-
ces such as loose or flaking pigment, paper
and even metals, which can be corroded by
the substances in human sweat. Replicas can
also be used in museums as objects designa-
ted for handling by visitors.This allows peo-
ple to learn by touching and feeling, and is
also a powerful resource for blind and parti-
ally sighted visitors.
copying is still used in art academies as a
valuable tool for learning about art.Today
there are many ways in which copies and
reproductions can be used to contribute
directly to the protection of art and artefacts
and also to aid education and study.
H
istoric sites and buildings are
often decorated with carvings,
frescoes or mosaics which, if
exposed to the elements, are in danger of
severe deterioration or even destruction.
However, these artworks can be saved by
well researched preservation policies and
limiting visitor numbers. In some cases, like
the Romanesque frescoes from the church
of San Clement in Taull, they have been
removed to the protected environment of
the Museum of Catalan Art in Barcelona. If
they were replaced with an exact replica the
visual integrity of the original site would be
maintained. On a grander scale, entire sites
can be replicated, such as the Altamira caves.
These caves and their Neolithic paintings
were under threat from environmental
hazards caused by heavy visitor numbers.
The construction of a full-scale replica,
housed in a purpose-built museum at
Altamira, has made the caves accessible
T
he popularity of the Seti exhibi-
tion at the Museo Arqueológico
Nacional challenges the view that
replicas are in some way inferior and sug-
gests that they can become a valuable addi-
tion to museum displays without the
audience feeling `duped'.The technique of
digital documentation also has a significant
part to play in the study and conservation
of heritage, such as the monitoring of dete-
riorating surfaces and close-range analysis.
As our heritage is continually under threat
it is clear that there is ample scope for the
application of this technology at historic
sites around the world.
THE USE OF REPLICAS IN HERITAGE
C
opies have been known throug-
hout the history of art, from
Roman copies of Greek statues
to eighteenth-century imitations of the
Roman copies, or as a way for famous
works to reach a wider audience.Within the
Islamic tradition of miniature painting
copying is an accepted means of deepening
understanding and appreciation of an esta-
blished canon of great works.The process of
Data from the Seti Scanner.The data is made up of points of 3D information
positioned on a 100 micron grid and requires no meshing or post processing.
Colour coded data from the Seti Scanner indicating the relief surface.The
many different renderings of the 3D data can provide new source material
for academics and conservators.
Data from the ModelMaker Scanner. In practice the best resolution achieved
with the ModelMaker was 100 microns along the scanning line and 250
microns between lines.
© Factum
Ar
te
,
2004,
www
.f
actum-ar
te
.com
© Factum
Ar
te
,
2004,
www
.f
actum-ar
te
.com
© Factum
Ar
te
,
2004,
www
.f
actum-ar
te
.com
© Factum
Ar
te
,
2004,
www
.f
actum-ar
te
.com