Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back in London...

After two hours of stress free train ride we are back in London! If you wanna travel between London and Paris, this is the way to go!
The next morning May-N is taking me to meet the Imaging Manager of the British Museum, he is going to show me how they digitise their heritage objects! Oh.. May-N work as a I.T. Team Leader at the same museum :)

Wikipedia told me that:

"The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present."

It was a nice walk from the Russell Square tube station to the museum. It was a clear, cool sunny day; we pass the imposing Hotel Russell.

The Hotel Russell was built in 1898 by the architect, C. Fitzroy Doll. The hotel's restaurant, which is named after the architect is said to be almost identical to the RMS Titanic`s dining room which he also designed. - Wikipedia -

Russell Square is opposite the hotel, and I finally got to see the famous pigeon's fountain bath in the park! Duh!

There are some really nice large terraced house opposite the museum, you got to be really rich to live in this location!

The Greek Revival facade of the British Museum facing Great Russell Street is a characteristic building of Sir Robert Smirke, with 44 columns in the Ionic order 45 ft (14 m) high, closely based on those of the temple of Athena Polias at Priene in Asia Minor. The pediment over the main entrance is decorated by sculptures by Sir Richard Westmacott depicting The Progress of Civilisation, consisting of fifteen allegorical figures, installed in 1852. - Wikipedia -

As you walk into the museum you are greeted by a mind boggling structure call the Queen Elizabth II Great Court! Look more like the inside of Starship Enterprise!

The central quadrangle of the British Museum in London was redeveloped to a design by Foster and Partners, from a 1970's design by Colin St John Wilson[1], to become the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, commonly referred to simply as the Great Court, during the late 1990s. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. The court has a tessellated glass roof designed by Buro Happold[1]
covering the entire court and surrounds the original circular British Museum Reading Room in the centre, now a museum. It is the largest covered square in Europe, bigger than a football field [2]
. The glass and steel roof is made up of 4878 unique steel members connected at 1566 unique nodes and 1,656 pairs of glass windowpanes making up 6100m2 of glazing[2]; each of a unique shape because of the undulating nature of the roof.
Controversially, some of the stone in the court is from France, rather than being Portland Stone from southern England as agreed in the original contract with the masons.
Within the Great Court, there are shops and a café. It is open for later than the British Museum itself. The court acts as a centrally linking point for the museum, somewhat like the Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. - Wikipedia -
So after a cup of cappuccino, (I prefer Flat White; but alas you cannot get it here)!

We meet up with Ivor Kerslake, the Imaging Manager.

Ivor took us underground to their photo studios, there are a myriads of tunnels under the museum where precious artifacts are kept.

I also talk to one of their photographer, Dudley Hubbard who show me a bit about their digital work flow :)

Dudley was shooting artifacts from the Book of the Dead, I was shown how he get accurate colour by using a 18% gray target.
I would like to thank Ivor for showing me his Photo Section and Dudley for the digital demo. Thanks guys! (Short video of them after the break)

Famous Last Words:

That was my short visits to the British Museum! We are so short of time that we did not see anything else! Never mind, one day; I'll Be Back!!


Good Bye London :(

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