The "European Heritage Days" (French: "Journées européennes du
Patrimoine") are held in several European countries, most prominently
France, on certain days in September. On these days, many buildings not
usually open to the public (e.g. the Élysée Palace) are open for
visiting, as are the workshop of certain artisans (e.g. stained glass
window specialists, or sculpture restorators).
I suggested and implemented on the French Wikipedia the following
scheme: a sitenotice mentioning the event and pointing out that the
general public can help Wikipedia get more photos, with a link to a page
explaining how to contribute photos. This page gets 7000-8000 hits daily.
We eschewed telling people about the upload interface - instead we
explained to them in layman's terms what a "free license" is and told
them to send pictures by email to the permissions-commons-fr OTRS address.
This action was mentioned on several online news sites, including
Ecrans.fr (the Internet-related news site associated with the daily
We used this occasion to point out to users some of the difficulties we
have with public museums and monuments in France. On Wednesday, I
published an op-ed in the national daily Libération explaining how our
current policies are ill-suited. There are chances there could be
changes, according to a recent report I received from the Minister of
Culture, which seems to endorse certain suggestions I made to the
Ministry when I was heard in 2008 before a commission there, on behalf
of Wikimedia France.
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