CULTURE

Private viewings a click away

How would you like to take a closer look at lesser-known works of art from the Benaki Museum?s photographic archives, go on a virtual tour of the Acropolis Museum?s Archaic Hall and study rare laboratory images of objects at the Museum of Cycladic Art?

Now you can do so at your own leisure by visiting www.googleartproject.com. Powered by Google, the website aims to facilitate access to works of art and cultural institutions around the world by offering a platform for personalized viewing and navigation of information for further discussion and educational purposes.

Google?s collaboration with the Acropolis Museum, the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art is part of the Art Project?s current development. The Google Art Project, which got rolling in February 2011 with 17 museums in nine countries, has now grown into a network of 151 partner museums in 40 countries.

The Google Art Project collection currently includes over 30,000 works of art. Up to now, 46 museums have each selected one work to be photographed in particularly high resolution through ?gigapixel? state-of-the-art technology.

This technique allows viewers to study the works in all their detail, by exploring paint strokes and verdigris, for instance, something which would have been impossible to do with the naked eye. At a recent press presentation in Athens of the collaboration between Google and the three Greek museums, Minister of Culture Pavlos Geroulanos underlined the importance of safeguarding and promoting the country?s heritage.  

Also taking part in the event was Google Art Project program manager James Davis, Acropolis Museum director Dimitris Pandermalis, Cycladic Art Museum director Sandra Marinopoulos and Benaki Museum president Emilia Geroulanou.

The Cycladic Art Museum is taking part in the Google Art Project with 159 works created by 19 artists, while the Benaki Museum is participating with 510 works of art by 95 artists.

Meanwhile, the Acropolis Museum is showcased through 24 high-definition images as well as virtual tours of its permanent collections developed through the ?street view? technology also used by Google Maps.