Monday, January 24, 2011

The new Renaissance is digital

#Europe's cultures have had a worldwide influence. An influence that can be observed worldwide in modern cultural expressions. European merchants brought curios from all over the world and consequently museums and archives have become a rich resource of mementos of all the worldwide cultures.

Jean Monet once said: "If Europe were to be reconstructed, I would begin with culture rather than the
economy". A renaissance is a rebirth and, the European Union recognises the fact that the Internet is where many of the new cultural manifestations take place. The classic cultures had their renaissance after hundreds of years after their demise. A report commissioned by the European Commission called "The New Renaissance" discusses how our cultural heritage can be given a new lease of life, how it can become part of a worldwide renaissance of Culture.

The original renaissance happened after many of the classical artefacts were damaged or destroyed. This European report recognises that something similar may happen. It may happen when our archives, our museum collections are not digitised but also when copyright orphans are excluded because of the FUD that surrounds them.

Europeana plays an important role in the European strategy. It is therefore stellar to read that the European cultural heritage is to be accessible to the greatest number of people without distinction or barrier. Language is such a barrier and it is therefore really relevant that the initial localisation of Europeana at now includes simplified Chinese. You will also find European languages like Macedonian, Serbian, Breton and Luxembourgian that will be new to Europeana.

When you are interested in the European vision on the riches its museums and archives contain, you will find this document a "must read".
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