*Wikimedians team up to make European Cultural Heritage Accessible to the
*Volunteers from 16 European Countries Have Uploaded 15,000 Images and
Amsterdam, September 6, 2011--- Wikimedians from 16 European countries
announced the first-ever Pan-European Wiki Loves Monuments contest, a
photography contest, running throughout the month of September, focused on
capturing and sharing images of important monuments and buildings in Europe.
Since its September 1st launch, more than 1000 images have been uploaded
from a few of the most active countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands,
Poland and Spain.
Europe has hundreds of thousands of historically and culturally significant
monuments and buildings, most of which still have no freely-available images
on the Internet. These important structures are often damaged or destroyed
overtime, endangering the opportunity for people all over the world to
access and learn about them. Although some prominent cultural artifacts are
protected and documented by various international organizations and
agencies, a majority of them are not. Wikipedia is one of the only
freely-accessible shared places on the Internet offering a digital home to
these artifacts, however, most of the culturally significant buildings and
monuments in Europe are missing. This contest aims to make sure that they
are represented in the form of images so that everyone, European or not, has
access to Europe's cultural heritage.
“Wikimeda’s ultimate goal is to make all information freely available to
everyone in the world, and images of Europe’s important cultural structures
are needed to complete this mission. All over Europe, important monuments
are tucked away from the rest of the world--they haven't been documented or
shared on a website like Wikipedia," said Lodewijk Gelauff, one of the lead
organizers of the European contest. "There are hundreds of thousands of
monuments that people walk past every day and they have no idea these
structures are culturally significant and should be shared."
The contest is inspired by the successful 2010 pilot contest conducted in
the Netherlands, which resulted in 12,500 freely-licensed images of
monuments and buildings now freely-available to be used on Wikipedia and by
anybody in the world. Wiki Loves Monuments runs throughout the entire month
of September and is organized in independent national contests. Winning
images from regional contests will then be submitted to the pan-European
Jury. Participating partner countries include: Andorra, Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The contest is supported by international organizations including the
Council of Europe, the European Commission, Europeana and Europa Nostra. The
month of September was selected as it coincides with European Heritage Days
organized throughout Europe. Prizes, including a full scholarship to
Wikimania in Washington, DC, will be awarded to winners medio December. More
information about the contest and how to enter can be found at:
“Europe's cultural artifacts have universal significance. And it’s not just
about the documentation of these artifacts, it's about making sure they’re
accessible to people no matter who you are or where you live in the world,”
Lodewijk Gelauff, European co-ordinator Wiki Loves Monuments, +31 (0)6 49 74
82 81 (Netherlands) - lodewijk(a)wmnederland.nl
Press contacts and press releases per country:
Wikimedia is the movement behind Wikipedia, supporting the same goals on
realizing a world where all knowledge is freely available for every human
being. This is possible through the US-based Wikimedia Foundation and a
network of national associations which co-operate closely with the
volunteers on the Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia.
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 390 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th
most popular web property world-wide (July 2011). Available in more than 270
languages, Wikipedia contains more than 18 million articles contributed by
hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
=== Q & A ===
*How are Wikimedia and the European Partners working together on this?*
Wiki Loves Monuments is lucky to be supported by a wide contingent of
European organizations - including the Council of Europe, the European
Commission, Europeana and Europa Nostra.
These organizations support Wikimedia through their extensive networks with
their national partner organizations and through their communications. Some
partners such as Europeana provide besides that also direct support by
making awards available.
*When will you announce the regional winners*
The regional winners will be announced by their national organizations by
the end of October or the beginning of November. They will submit their
nominations for the European jury by October 31.
*When will you announce the final winners*
The European jury will deliberate in November about the nominees by the
national juries and decide which photo will win the fully funded trip to
Wikimania in Washington DC in 2012. The winners will be announced at the
DISH conference in Rotterdam on 6-9 December.
*How can I track the images being submitted?*
All eligible images submitted are available through Wikimedia Commons:
You can always see the last few submissions on the main page of