Headlines: Vatican, Bull's Head, Desert X

1) More Replicas of Vatican City Landmarks to Come

An interior photo of mosaics in the Gregoriano Profano museum in Vatican City


Last June, Mexico city played host to a life-sized, exacting replica of the Sistine Chapel. The project, a privately-funded venture dreamed up by Mexican entrepreneur Antonio Berumen, saw each of the Chapel’s intricate fresco paintings reproduced with photo-transfer techniques and installed on canvas inside a wooden replica of the church. The project was such a popular success that Vatican City officials have reportedly given the green light for reproductions of other famous religious sites including the Raphael Rooms. So far, concrete dates have not been announced, but the practice represents an interesting new way to make static monuments mobile by harnessing new technologies.


2) Desert X Will Return in 2019

A photo of Doug Aitken's Mirage artwork


Desert X, the California-based outdoor art festival that saw its debut earlier this year, has announced that it will be returning -- in 2019. The next festival has announced it will be running between February and April of 2019. According to organizers the overall tone and theme of this new edition of Desert X will be much the same as its previous incarnation. Numerous artists will present indoor and outdoor installations throughout the Coachella Valley, and the exhibition will be mostly free to visitors who wish to wander the vast desert “gallery.”


3) Looted Bull's Head Artefact to be Returned to Lebanon

A 2,300 year old bull's head sculpture from Lebanon


A pair of Colorado art collectors have dropped a lawsuit against the Manhattan District Attorney to keep an artwork they loaned to the Met. The artwork in question, a marble bull’s head thought to be roughly 2,300 years old, was on loan to the museum by the Beierwaltes, who claimed to have purchased it ethically in 1996. The work was pulled from the museum in late July after a concerned curator addressed the issue of possible looting with Lebanese officials, who requested that the bull’s head be returned to its native country. The Beierwaltes initially tried to stop this, but their attorney issued a statement on Wednesday saying that they had opted to withdraw their claim in the face of strong new evidence that the piece was indeed stolen.


4) UCB Project Seeks to Preserve Recordings of Dead Indigenous Languages

A Smithsonian ethnographer recording speech from a Blackfoot chief in 1916


A project team at UC Berkeley in California is using optical scan technology to digitally restore a number of decaying wax cylinder recordings stored at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The cylinders contain recordings of songs and speech dating back to between 1900 and 1938, and represent an aural record of 78 indigenous languages, a number of which are considered dead languages today. Utilizing a non-invasive technique of scanning and three-dimensionally mapping the imprints left on the cylinders, a team comprising linguist Andrew Garrett, digital librarian Erik Mitchell, and anthropologist Ira Jacknis is hoping to preserve about 100 hours of audio.


Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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