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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday April 15, 2015

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

Europeana Creative Tourism Pilot Wins 'Best of the Web Awards' in Chicago

Europeana Creative's Tourism Pilot, has received two prestigious "Best of the Web" awards in the categories of Digital Exhibition and People's Choice at the Museums and the Web conference in Chicago.

VanGoYoursel has been developed as part of Europeana Creative in collaboration with Europeana partners and Spild af Tid and provides a fun and friendly way to engage with cultural heritage. It allows users to recreate classic scenes from some of world’s most famous paintings in a contemporary setting, and then share it with their friends on social media. 

Museums and the Web is an annual conference featuring advanced research and exemplary applications of digital practice for cultural, natural and scientific heritage. Its products – the MW proceedingsBest of the Web archives and community news forum – are an unparalleled resource for museum workers, technologists, students and researchers that grows every year.

Example of a twinned image at 

VanGoYourself offers people a way to have their own emotional response to an artwork and then to channel that through a very social desire to have fun with their friends. We are very proud of the several reactions this project has triggered so far. The response from people uploading images falls mainly into three categories:

  • The ‘Cultural Selfie’ is a term coined by the media (BBC, Telegraph) to describe when users upload a selfie and twin it with a painting.
  • The Recreation: users try to recreate the original setting and atmosphere of the painting with great care.
  • The Re-Interpretation: users do not recreate the original setting of the painting, but they are inspired by the meaning or message of the painting and express their modern version of it.

As part of Europeana Creative project’s offer to link back to the museums and galleries who have taken part, we have recently launched a way for anyone to include VanGoYourself twinned images onto their own website with our simple widget. It offer two kinds of widget: one which will embed a  feed of a specific single recreated image, and one which will embed a feed of VanGo’d images based on a tag such as a specific venue or a description  such as #romantic or a category such as #pets. 

To date those venues who have contributed paintings or photographs to the VanGoYourself project include:  Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries, Rijksmuseum, Smithsonian Institution,  Amsterdam Museum,  Compton Verney Art Gallery,   Stadtmuseum Simeonstift,  Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique Trier,  Van Gogh Museum, National Gallery of Denmark and many more.

We are very thankful to everyone who voted for this Project for the People's Choice category in Chicago! Find out more about VanGoYourself and how you can recreate your own paintings at or check the next re-enactements via Twitter at @VanGoYourself.