- Title: Google helps digitalise the Mayan world
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH MUSEUM PROJECT CURATOR FOR THE GOOGLE MAYA PROJECT, CLAUDIA ZEHRT, SAYING: "We, like our small team, certainly hopes that it (the project) was more like a test run for the British Museum to also see what they can do with digitisation in the end - what type of people they can reach, and how it could really benefit the collections and what we can do with it in museums in general. What else we can do with it is that now that the data is out there for everyone to use, we both hope that the general public will enjoy it and will be able to really, really do something with it, but also our colleagues from the academic sector will be able to then do their own research. Basically, we are setting the data free so that everyone can use them, and hopefully do something really cool with all the treasures we discovered." PRESS PHOTOGRAPHING PROJECT TEAM STANDING BESIDE CAST COPY REPLICA COPY REPLICA
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 21:10
- Keywords: plaster cast Yucatan Chichen Itza Maya Palenque digital technology art digitalizing Alfred Maudslay Google British Museum Mexico history Google Arts & Culture
- Location: PALENQUE, CHIAPAS + MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: PALENQUE, CHIAPAS + MEXICO CITY, MEXICO / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA00BB1CLTFR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Google has partnered with The British Museum and Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to digitalise the ancient Mayan world.
The new project, presented in Google's Mexico City office on Tuesday (October 15), is part of the tech giant's online platform named "Google Arts & Culture", that aims to make artworks from partner museums accessible to anybody with an internet connection.
"Exploring the Maya World" specifically focuses on this civilisation, that reached its peak between around 250 and 900 CE and that centred mostly out of what is now southern Mexico northern Central America.
The digital platform, found online and through Google Arts & Culture's app, contains articles, videos, juxtaposed old photographs and 3D digital models allowing viewers to delve into Mayan culture, history, art and architecture.
Central to the project is a plaster cast of the ancient city of Palenque's palace steps brought back to London by Victorian explorer Alfred Maudslay. The 19th century cast allowed curators to create a slightly oversized replica that is due to reside in situ at Palenque, for visitors to see, as the design on the original steps has since eroded and is no longer legible.
Chance Coughenour, Head of Preservation at Google Arts & Culture, told Reuters " this project is about preserving the Maya story" and "that today, we are using the technology of our time to make those stories accessible to anyone, anywhere."
British Museum project curator for the Maya Project, Claudia Zehrt told Reuters that they hope this project can lead to further digitalisation of other works that reside at the London museum.
Zehrt mentioned the project also includes a focus on the role of women in the Victorian exploration period and in Mayan exploration specifically, as well as the roles of local communities and workers.
Coughenour says, "I see the future of technology and art continuing to meet in incredible ways."
(Production: Christina Anagnostopoulos)
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