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Germany Protects Historic Treasures with Digitization | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Installation view of ‘Feuerbach’s Muses – Lagerfeld’s Models’
at Hamburger Kunsthalle

Mainz (Germany)- Germany has decided to digitize massive collections of historic artworks and ancient documents aiming to avoid the destruction, theft, or loss of the rare historic masterpieces.

Major museums in Germany haven’t only been working on protecting these collections and documents, but also on providing them for millions of people through the internet.

This digitization comes following many incidents that shed light on the importance of maintaining safety and security of precious things; for example, many of Cologne’s treasures and historic preservations disappeared in 2009, when a six-floor building which contained documents that dated to 922, collapsed and turned into ruins.

During specialized discussions on the digital content in the field of art and cultural sciences, Vice President of Mainz University Dr. Mechthild Dreyer said the early digitization of the disappeared documents should have protected them from loss.

In Bremen, the Kunsthalle Art Exhibition, has started a global digitization mission that covers all its precious storage of sculptures and paintings.

The digitization process covers works of photogravure, drawings and watercolors in the exhibition’s huge printing hall as part of a several-year project; these digitized pieces will include works of Dürer and Rembrandt.

Around 200,000 pages of manuscripts dating back to the 14th century are being added to the Kunsthalle Exhibition guide on the internet.

Logically, such an easy and unlimited view of artworks provided through the internet, is definitely expected to reduce the number of the exhibition’s visitors. Yet, museum officials say that views on the internet have enhanced people’s appetite on seeing the real masterpieces.

Chantal Eschenfelder, the head of Education of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, said that as much as the digital shows are interesting and advantageous, only the real artworks can bring real magic.

Visitors of the German Maritime Museum (DSM) in Bremerhaven have the opportunity to make a virtual tour through a bunch of local scenes that date back to the Medieval Era. Ursula Warnke, the director of the museum, said that they digitized a full museum in cooperation with Google and that they hope more advancement in this field.