Cultural Heritage 2.0

Launched September 2015

Cultural Heritage 2.0

The programme is carried out in partnership with the Factum Foundation (Spain) and Juma Al Majid (United Arab Emirates) and has three components::

  • Creating a digital archive of Eastern manuscripts from the collection of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Dagestan and from private collections;
  • Creating the only laboratory of its kind for the conservation and restoration of ancient written cultural artefacts;
  • Preserving unique examples of our cultural heritage by using the latest techniques in photogrammetry and 3D scanning.

The first project in the Cultural Heritage 2.0 programme was preservation of the cultural heritage of Kala-Koreysh, which is regarded as one of the first Islamic settlements in our country.

In keeping with the Foundation’s main goal of supporting talented young people, young Dagestani photographers were invited to work on the project. A competition identified the two best photographers, and they travelled to the programmer’s partner, Factum Arte, in Madrid to learn how to use the unique pieces of equipment specially devised for the programme for 3D scanning and photogrammetry. After two months of instruction an international team made an expedition to Kala-Koreysh to make 3D models of that ancient Islamic settlement. The expedition was followed up by scientific and research studies and with plans for exhibitions.

Lucida, a unique scanner for creating 3D models that allow recreation of culturally significant items with maximum fidelity, was specially constructed and shipped to Dagestan.

Future activities in this component of the programme will focus on digital copies of other objects in mankind’s cultural heritage, for which new teams will be trained.

Another component of Cultural Heritage 2.0 will physically preserve and make digital copies of precious collections of Eastern manuscripts obtained from state and private sources. This will be carried out by:

  • Creating the first centre of its kind in the North Caucasus for digitally copying and restoring written cultural artefacts from the collection of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • Obtaining, or if necessary specially commissioning, equipment required to make digital copies of manuscripts without damaging them;
  • Creating a unique laboratory for the restoration of damaged manuscripts;
  • Training local specialists to carry out the project in Dagestan.

The digital archive will be available to scholars anywhere in the world. Major centres from around the world will participate in research and educational activities.