Press release Wiki Loves Art Belgium in 2016 project launch

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Logo Wiki Loves Art
Logo Wiki Loves Art

Press Release - 1 July 2016
Making Belgian cultural heritage visible

For the pilot-edition of Wiki Loves Art Belgium, taking place during the months of July and August, museums and archives throughout Belgium will open their doors to photographers and heritage lovers of all ages and skill sets. The crowdsourced images will be uploaded to Wikipedia’s image repository under a free license and integrated into Wikipedia articles. The ultimate goal of WLA is to enlarge the online presence of Belgian cultural heritage whilst at the same time creating public support for free digital dissemination of heritage and knowledge.

'“Museums need to have the ambition to create impact on society and create public value.”'
Volop inzetten op musea; First vision statement of Flemish Museums

‘Wiki Loves Art’ is an invitation to the public to take pictures of (a selection of) objects in the collections of museums in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. The pictures will be uploaded tot he image repository of Wikipedia and made freely available under an open license.

Wiki Loves Art started in the United States and has since been organized in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The participants work for free but after a careful selection by our Jury, the authors of the best pictures will receive a prize.

The concept has already proven its potential abroad. For instance, the images uploaded for Wiki Loves Art Netherlands in 2009 have been viewed 1.8 million times and have been used in 1430 Wikipedia articles.

Who? Where?
Given the ideosyncracies of every collection, the participating organisations can select a formula which fits theirs. For instance, the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, the Musée Royal de Mariemont and the Bardelaere Museum will open their doors to photographers for the entire period of July-August, whereas the PhotoMuseum (Antwerp), the University Library in Liège and the Ceramic Museum in Andenne will organize one or more compact events with photography workshops and Wikipedia writing sessions with the support from museum staff and Wikimedia volunteers. Others, like the Heritage Library Hendrik de Conscience will communicate their dates shortly.

“While museums have the necessary knowledge and the documentation, Wikipedia has the global reach and circulation far beyond what any museum could achieve on its own.”
Josep Serra, director Museu Picasso, Barcelona

Thanks to Wiki Loves Art, museums in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders get the opportunity to present their collections to a broad and new audience, piggybacking on the reach and impact of one of the most famous and well known websites on the planet.

Moreover, they help create a precedent in the Belgian museum sector with regard to open access to culture and join the international tendency for museums to commit themselves to wider societal value creation.

Art and museum lovers, photographers of any skill level and Wikipedia-enthusiasts can take up an active role in this process and be included into the operation of the museum.

Opened during the whole period of July-August:

  • Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent
  • Bardelaere Museum in Lembeke
  • Musée Royal de Mariemont in Morlanwelz

Only opened with workshops:

  • 14/07 - Kazerne Dossin in Mechelen
  • 23/07 - PhotoMuseum Antwerp
  • 26/07 - Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp
  • 08/08 - Ceramic Museum in Andenne
  • 12/08 - Library of Université de Liège
  • 16/08 - Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp
  • 18/08 - Kazerne Dossin in Mechelen
  • 19/08 - Library of Université de Liège
  • 22/08 - Ceramic Museum in Andenne
  • 27/08 - Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels (only Wikipedia writing session)

More information?

F. Follow us on Facebook!
T. Follow us on Twitter: WikiLovesArtBE!
Hashtag: #wikilovesartbe2016

Wikipedia Belgium
Romaine (NL) and Loraine (FR)

FARO. Flemish centre for cultural heritage vzw
Roel Daenen
T. 02 213 10 73

Packed vzw
Alina Saenko
T. +32 (0)2 217 14 05

Sam Donvil
T. +32 (0)2 217 14 05


Resources on previous editions and spinoffs

Impact WLA NL 2009

  • As May 2016 the uploaded images were looked at 1.8 million times
  • And used in 1430 articles