Art collectors, who are Romania’s best ambassadors, have as of this year been growing in numbers on the Google Cultural Institute platform, a digital platform offering access to historical and cultural heritage worldwide. Thus, anyone can explore paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, religious artifacts, museum manuscripts and collections from all over the world, via the Internet.
The Romanian Peasant Museum, the Astra National Museum Compound, the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, the Order of the Architects in Romania, the Pro Heritage Foundation, the Folklore Without Frontiers Association, and the Wassertabahn Foundation have been jointly launching their collections on the Google Cultural Institute platform, starting November 2014. Nevertheless, as of this year, the Romanian collection has been enriched. Google PR manager Gabriela Chiorean has the details:
Gabriela Chiorean: ”As of last week, new Romanian collections were brought in, which best promote us around the world. We added a tour of the Parliament Palace, thanks to our technology known as Street View. It means that a simple Internet connection can allow people from all over the world to visit the Parliament Palace in Bucharest. Also, new collections have been added from the Brukenthal Museum, a partner we’ve had for quite some time on Google Cultural Institute. What’s special about it is that, at present, the state-of-the-art technology allows visitors to get very close to a painting so as to see its every detail, something that was impossible before.”
Other Romanian collections on Google Cultural Institute are illustrative of the life in Transylvania, through rural scenes, arts, crafts and fortified churches. Here is Gabriela Chiorean again, this time about how Romania’s presence has been increasing on Google platform:
Gabriela Chiorean: ”When we launched all these new Romanian collections, it was actually an anniversary moment for Google Cultural Institute, as we were celebrating our fifth anniversary. At present, there are more than one thousand partners from 70 countries on this platform. Romania was very well profiled at that anniversary moment. The Parliament Palace, for instance, was on the front page of the Cultural Institute as a site worth visiting and promoting and we were very happy about that. Goggle Cultural Institute had been launched in Romania through 8 partners in late 2014 and the number of partners has grown to 11 at present. It’s important that most of our partners update their collections permanently and some of them are preparing new collections. The narrow gauge train on the Vaser Valley, that has been our partner for some time, has just launched an application from the mobile phone. So, upon visiting the narrow gauge train, tourists can download the app in order to get all the information they need.”
The only thing we must do if we want to take a virtual tour of the Parliament Palace is to access Google and introduce the key words ‘Parliament Palace’ and ‘Google Cultural Institute’ in order to be directed straight to the page that we’re looking for. We will automatically get access to the page where the collection is presented.
Gabriela Chiorean:”It is a virtual tour, the access is easy, and you can move around with the help of arrows marked on the screen, that help you travel from one floor to another, enter one room after another. There is also a map that, just like in a hotel, shows you where you are at a certain moment. You can walk around, you can enlarge an image so as to see a painting on a wall and you can take a close look at the ceiling for instance, to see how it’s built. You can spend hours on end here, you can lose yourself in discovering new things and you can make comparisons with other buildings as well. The Parliament Palace is the only building in our region that is present on the Google Cultural Institute platform. The White House is also on this platform and visitors can easily travel from one continent to another.“
Google Cultural Institute is also a place for amusement.
Gabriela Chiorean: “One of the visitors was curious to know which were the most interesting hats worn by painters who made their self-portraits. So he introduced a big number of key words in his search, selected paintings from numerous museums around the world and created a collection of his own. He practically introduced his collection on the platform and created his own museum. We, at Google, are just a technical platform, a technological partner. But what can happen when technology and art intertwine is really beautiful!”