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Google and Iraq create virtual museum
An excerpt from a press release I received via email. The site is very nicely done, but a bit too much Flash animation for my taste. Still, if it allows more items to be viewed online, it's a good result.


[Image: speck.gif]
[Image: 20100123091133115_1.png]Google's Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has announced the creation of a virtual alternative to Iraq's national museum. The internet trailblazers will transfer four millennia of archaeological discoveries into an online version with high-resolution images, free of charge. Scholars, educators and historians will be able to use the virtual museum to examine and study some of Iraq's oldest archaeological treasures with the simple click of a mouse.

Schmidt expressed his excitement for the proposal at a press conference in front of journalists, Iraqi and American officials: "I can think of no better use of our time and our resources than to make the images and the ideas of your civilization available to all the people of the world," he said.

The museum, which was badly looted following the country's Anglo-American invasion, has been reopened in three stages: in 2003 by American occupation authorities, again in 2007 by Iraqi officials and most recently last February by the current Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

Unfortunately, all three attempts only offered limited viewing to scholars, journalists and the odd school group. The museum has not been fully opened for public viewing. As of now, only eight out of the museum's 26 galleries have been restored and most of the collection remains in storage.

"Google has the technological infrastructure and ability, as well as the global popularity, to help make the artifacts of the Iraqi national museum much more widely accessible in a very compelling format," Google spokesperson Elaine Filadelfo told University World News.

"We've taken thousands of photographs of the artifacts in the Iraqi national museum, which will be made accessible via the museum's website in the future. These photographs will be presented in a compelling, interactive manner," Filadelfo said.
Really good resource that... and good story... thanks
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
It's quite sad to think that many of the pictures will be of items not in the Museum any longer, due to looting.

I understand the desire to own a piece of history, I would love to own a few things myself, such as tesserae and the like, but to steal museum items.... of course, it's the collectors that drive that sort of market.

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