... JEFFREY BROWN: The tomb of Seti I, ancient Egyptian pharaoh, we watched it being milled, printed, and set. But we’re not in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, and certainly not in the 13th century B.C.
This is a workshop called Factum Arte in an eastern suburb of Madrid, Spain, filled with art and historical works of all kinds, with one unusual thing in common.

Everything in this large warehouse is a reproduction, a copy. But the work that goes on here raises profound questions about just what is real, and what it means to preserve an object.

ADAM LOWE, Founder, Factum Arte: We’re making copies of copies.

JEFFREY BROWN: The man who leads Factum, with evangelical fervor, is British artist Adam Lowe.

ADAM LOWE: The state of the art is that we can make something that is identical to the original, under normal viewing conditions.

JEFFREY BROWN: So, is the idea that you’re creating something that is, at least for the viewing experience, as real as the original?

ADAM LOWE: The idea is that you can get someone to understand the complexity of an object, and you can get them to read it in many ways through encountering facsimile, yes...


...JEFFREY BROWN: Factum first attracted international attention in 2007 by creating a replica of a huge painting by Paolo Veronese from 1563, The Wedding at Cana.

The original painting now hangs in the Louvre museum in Paris, but it got there as a gift of Napoleon, whose forces ripped it from its original home, a church in Venice. Factum’s experts studied, scanned, slowly recreated it, and finally put it, the copy, that is, into its old home.

ADAM LOWE: Many people started to question about whether the experience of seeing it in its correct setting, with the correct light, in dialogue with this building that it was painted for, is actually more authentic than the experience of seeing the original in the Louvre.

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