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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday May 20, 2013

Wiki Loves Public Art hits halfway point

We are now halfway through the Wiki Loves Public Art photo contest, which runs throughout May 2013. Volunteers in Austria, Finland, Israel, Spain and Sweden have taken over 5,000 pictures of a total of 1,385 public artworks! All of these photos are uploaded under a free licence, so that they can be used, for example, in online projects such as Wikipedia.

The goal of the Wiki Loves Public Art (WLPA) 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 5,000 photos uploaded so far 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 in the contest can be added to illustrate articles in the online encyclopedia. The contest is organised by Wikimedia Sverige, Europeana and volunteers in the Wikimedia chapters and affiliated groups in each of the participating countries.

'Paparazzi statue in Bratislava', photograph by DMY, CC-BY.

'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 in the contest have a diverse set of copyright laws, which means that the public artworks that can be photographed and uploaded online for the contest differ between countries. For example, in Finland the contest focuses on outdoor sculptures made by artists who have been dead for 70 years or more. In Spain and Austria, on the other hand, any public artwork can be photographed.

'This has also made a difference to the amount of artworks photographed in different local contests. From Barcelona we have over 4,000 pictures, whereas from countries with stricter copyright laws we understandably have fewer contributions', states John Andersson.

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

The photos uploaded for the contest will first be judged nationally, and the ten best pictures from each country will be sent to the 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.

To enter, go to wikilovespublicart.com.

For more information, contact John Andersson, Wikimedia Sverige, by phone: +46 (0)733965189 or email: john.andersson@wikimedia.se

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