Europeana Pro: GIF IT UP – inspiring students to engage with digital cultural heritage. “With this year’s GIF IT UP competition currently taking place, Cristina Roiu talks to teenager Anamaria Şune about her experience of making GIFs and how the competition inspires educational engagement with digital cultural heritage.”
Museums + Heritage Advisor: Does culture matter? New research offers lockdown lessons for museums and cultural attractions. “The study, conducted by marketing firm Crystallised, involved weekly surveys between 23rd March and 20th July, with one third of respondents having traditionally been classified as ‘not culturally engaged’ – not that this designation uniformly aligned to the research results. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people were found to have been far more open to trying new cultural experiences during lockdown. 61% of those surveyed tried a new culture sector offer in the four months of research and 16% participated in multiple online museum tours.”
USA Today: UK museum removes shrunken heads from exhibit in an effort to ‘decolonize’ its collections . “Oxford University’s Pitt Rivers Museum has removed its famous collection of shrunken heads and other human remains from display as part of a broader effort to ‘decolonize’ its collections. The museum, known as one of the world’s leading institutions for anthropology, ethnography and archaeology, had faced charges of racism and cultural insensitivity because it continued to display the items.”
Zee News: India all set to get back 15th Century idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana from UK . “India is all set to get back fifteenth-century idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana from the UK. The idols were stolen from a temple, built-in Vijayanagara period, in Tamil Nadu in 1978.”
So, so good, from a source new to me. Jersey Digs: As Construction Boom Continues, Social Media Influencers are Becoming Preservationists. “Most people know Keith Taillon as the Instagrammer that is trying to walk every block of Manhattan. Impressive — but that’s hardly the driving force behind his popular social media page. The Harlem resident is trying to salvage the history of his city before it is lost to the construction boom.”
Internet Archive Blog: Can You Help us Make the 19th Century Searchable?. “What we need is ‘Culture Tech’ (a riff on fintech, or biotech) and Culture Techies to work on important and useful projects–the things we need, but are probably not going to get gushers of private equity interest to fund. There are thousands of professionals taking on similar challenges in the field of digital humanities and we want to complement their work with industrial-scale tech that we can apply to cultural heritage materials.”
Museums Association: Is online cultural content good for mental health and wellbeing?. “The University of Oxford has launched a project exploring whether online cultural content has been beneficial to mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown. The project, which is being funded through the university’s Covid-19 Research Response Fund, is being run by an interdisciplinary team from its department of psychiatry and the Oxford Internet Institute, using the Ashmolean Museum’s digital collections and resources.”
Malta Independent: Through virtual reality, the general public can now visit underwater cultural heritage sites. “The project features 10 sites, where each site is given a detailed description and videos which show the sites in great detail. The project is in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), the University of Malta and Heritage Malta, with an investment of €100,000 over three years.” I can’t find a link to the actual site in the article! It’s at https://underwatermalta.org/ . Also, the headline kind of makes it sound like you need a VR headset to use the site. You don’t, it’s a great explore even without.
Arab News: Itching to travel? Visit the wonders of AlUla … from home. “When Saudi Arabia’s ancient heritage site of AlUla announced it would open to the world in late 2020, it was on the bucket list of every fervent traveller. Who wouldn’t want to visit Hegra, the impressive Maraya Concert Hall or watch the sunset at Elephant Rock? As we approach the International Day for Monuments and Sites on April 18, it is worth commemorating these ancient lands with their 200,000 years of history — an area once pivotal for trade and the transmission of cultures, which connected Asia, Africa and Europe.”
Smithsonian: You Can Now Download 1,700 Free 3-D Cultural Heritage Models. “During the first manned lunar landing mission in July 1969, Apollo 11’s crew lived in a command module dubbed the Columbia. Currently a priceless artifact in the National Air and Space Museum’s collections, the module was the only portion of the spacecraft to return to Earth. Now, thanks to a new open access initiative spearheaded by Sketchfab, the web’s largest platform for immersive 3-D content, anyone with an internet connection can ‘re-use, re-imagine and remix’ the vessel—as well as nearly 1,700 other historic artifacts—without limitation.”
Phys .org: The conservation of cultural heritage in the face of climate catastrophe. “Cultural heritage can be destroyed. It can decay. Once it is gone, it is gone forever, sadly. Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, Portuguese researchers discuss the potential impact of climate change on cultural heritage and how we might lose artifacts as extreme weather has a worsening impact on our world.”
CNN: Senior US officials say there is widespread opposition within the Trump administration to targeting cultural sites in Iran. “Two senior US officials on Sunday described widespread opposition within the administration to targeting cultural sites in Iran should the United States launch retaliatory strikes against Tehran, despite President Donald Trump saying a day before that such sites are among dozens the US has identified as potential targets.”
CNN: More than 100 Uyghur graveyards demolished by Chinese authorities, satellite images show. “In a months’ long investigation, working with sources in the Uyghur community and analyzing hundreds of satellite images, CNN has found more than 100 cemeteries that have been destroyed, most in just the last two years. This reporting was backed up by dozens of official Chinese government notices announcing the ‘relocation’ of cemeteries.”
Museums+Heritage: V&A launches ‘world’s largest and most accessible’ cultural heritage preservation database. “Launched as part of the V&A’s ongoing Culture in Crisis programme, the Museum’s new free-to-access Culture in Crisis Portal is claimed to be the world’s largest and most accessible database of cultural heritage preservation projects.” The V&A in this case is the Victoria & Albert Museum.
South China Morning Post: Heritage conservation in China: why ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ devoted her life to keeping Buddhist caves and relics alive . “Anyone with more than an ounce of interest in Dunhuang will have heard of Fan Jinshi. Now 81, the Chinese archaeologist who has spent more than half a century researching and preserving the caves at the heart of the ancient Silk Road in Gansu province is known as the ‘Daughter of Dunhuang’ in her field, though ‘protector’ is probably a more fitting description.”