ONE-MA3 2017: From Researchers to Royals
[fusion_text]By Sierra Rosenzweig
A taste of the royal life awaited the ONE-MA3 group in Piedmont today. We were told that we were going to be starting the day with a set of lectures in a restoration lab and finishing with a royal house tour so we packed into our van like sardines and rolled into Piedmont to see the labs in the Venaria Reale.
The lecture in the lab was a short one. We walked through the various rooms, looking at their Scanning Electron Microscopes, X-Ray Refractometers, and all of the works of art that are being restored at the palace.
One of the restorers in the Venaria Reale lab points out the restoration being done to a sarcophagus
As it turned out, the word “house” was an extreme understatement! We must have entered the palace through a side entrance, because at first the building seemed quaint compared to the castles that we had seen in the last week. We were all stunned as we exited the lab onto the lawn of the Palace of Venaria and witnessed the acres upon acres of flowers, fountains, and trees. As we ran into the garden, we wondered how this excess of land could have been hidden behind the lab. The group strolled through the garden, appreciating the beauty that had been created there. We were allowed to explore the area and enjoy the sun before we were called back to the palace to begin our research.
The ONE-MA3 group enjoys the view of the Venaria gardens from the steps of the palace
We entered the center of the palace and were instructed to take DPI scans of the statues lining the halls. There were hundreds of the figures in the palace, far too many for our group to scan in one day. Because there were too many beautiful works of art for us to handle in the time that we were given, we hustled around the palace, trying to pick our favorite statues to digitally collect. As we moved through the castle, we happened to stumble upon the Galleria Grande. This single room was bigger than the average house, and was work of art in itself. We walked room-to-room and experienced the magic that was once made for royalty and was left for us to enjoy.
Max scans one of the statues in the palace with the DPI
Walking through the Galleria Grande in the Palace of Venaria
This summer, Professor Admir Masic is leading a program on Materials in Art, Archaeology and Architecture (ONE-MA3), in which MIT undergraduates are conducting three weeks of fieldwork in Privernum, Pompeii and Turin as a prerequisite for the Fall 2017 MIT course, 1.057 Heritage Science and Technology. The program involves real-world analysis of ancient infrastructures and materials and focus on teaching ways to improve sustainability of the future through the study of ancient successes. [/fusion_text]