The Perczel Project (2007–2019)
Keywords: digital restoration, digital reconstruction, virtual globe, artistic globe copy, history of cartography
Abstract. Hungarian presenters gave several papers on this project at cartographic conferences and published articles on the state of the work in the past decade. The project undertaken by the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) serves the saving of cultural heritage, namely a globe, a significant work of art. The project is named after its maker, Perczel. The work, which lasted for more than ten years with interruptions, was crowned by the birth of three imposing artistic copies of the globe. This part of the project completed in half a year was organized by the Archiflex Studio and led by Zsuzsanna Lente, restorer artist. The first copy decorates the office of the Hungarian prime minister in the former Carmelite cloister in the Buda Castle. The second copy is placed in the National Széchényi Library, where the original globe is kept. The third copy went to the University Library of ELTE. The physical embodiment of the globe makes it a real public property: Perczel’s globe is a work of art that represents great scientific and cultural values.
The present paper reviews shortly the manuscript globe made by Perczel in 1862, and presents the stages of the digital re-creation and restoration of the globe map carried out at the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics at ELTE, which led to its physical reconstruction, the birth of its artistic copies. Finally, some cartographic “juicy bits” follow: the representation of non-existent “ghost” islands on the globe and some interesting graphical solutions that are unusual today.