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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday May 1, 2013

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

Wiki Loves Public Art

The Wiki Loves Public Art (WLPA) photography contest launches today.
The Wikimedia/Europeana collaboration encourages people in Austria, Finland, Israel, Spain and Sweden to take pictures of Public Domain artworks and upload their photos under a free licence, so that they can be used in online projects such as Wikipedia.
The goal of the Wiki Loves Public Art contest is to get as many pictures of public art as possible available under a free licence on Wikipedia's online database, Wikimedia Commons. The photos can then be seen and used by anyone, anywhere. At the same time, the world's sixth largest website, Wikipedia, will see a boost in its art coverage as photos from the contest can be added to the online encyclopedia to illustrate its articles. The contest is organised by Wikimedia Sverige, Europeana, volunteers in the Wikimedia chapters and affiliated groups in each of the participating countries.

The photos uploaded for the contest will first be judged nationally, after which the ten best pictures from each country will be sent to an international jury. The prizes for the three internationally best pictures – which will be announced in July – are travel gift certificates for 500 euros, 300 euros and 200 euros and on top of that, Europeana has sponsored high quality prints of the winning pictures that will be sent to the winners.

 ‘We are doing this to increase our common collection of photos of artworks and to make them easily accessible to everyone through Wikipedia. This is also a fun way to start contributing for volunteers', says the international WLPA coordinator, John Andersson.

The contest has been challenging to organise because most countries lack a national database of their artworks. In addition, the countries participating have a diverse set of copyright laws, so that the public artworks that can be photographed for the contest differ between countries. For example, in Finland the contest focuses on outdoor sculptures whose creators have been dead for 70 years or more. In Spain and Austria, on the other hand, any public artwork can be photographed. In some countries, the focus has been on working with national art museums so that people can go and take photos of particular museum collections.

‘With WLPA, we are also trying to raise awareness of copyright laws and the fact that in some countries national legislation can even make you a criminal for taking photos of publicly owned artworks, the same artworks you pass on your way to work or school every day', states John Andersson.

To make it easier for people to find the artworks suitable for the contest, volunteers in national Wikimedia chapters have created lists on Wikipedia.

More information

Contact the international WLPA coordinator if you have further enquiries:
John Andersson, Wikimedia Sverige
Phone: +46 (0)733965189
Contact person for Europeana regarding the WLPA contest is Geer Oskam,
For additional information, see the international website of the contest at

Wikimedia is the movement behind Wikipedia, supporting the same goals of realising a world where all knowledge is freely available for every human being. This is possible through the US-based Wikimedia Foundation and a network of national associations called chapters which co-operate closely with the volunteers on the Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia.

Wikipedia and the related sites operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 500 million unique visitors per month, making them the 6th most popular web property worldwide. Available in more than 280 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 23 million articles contributed by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. brings together the digitised content of Europe's galleries, libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections. Currently, Europeana gives integrated access to 26 million books, films, paintings, museum objects and archival documents from some 2,200 content providers. The content is drawn from every European member state and the interface is in 29 European languages. Europeana receives its main funding from the European Commission. Discover Europeana's Wiki contest exhibitions: Wiki Loves GLAM and Wiki Loves Art Nouveau.
Wiki Loves Public Art builds on the remarkable success of the annual Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest, which takes place between 1-30 September every year. Last year, an incredible 15,000 photographers from 33 countries around the world uploaded more than 350,000 photos during Wiki Loves Monuments.