A unique online initiative that celebrates the diversity and liveliness of European cultural heritage was presented at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (Faros) by the European Committee and the Google Arts & Culture platform. “The culture that connects us” programme was officially presented in Athens as part of the celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. It aims to attract the young generation to cultural heritage via technology.

“We are honoured that this programme starts here today in Greece, in Athens,” said Grigoris Zarifopoulos, Google Country Manager for Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta, talking about the new programme “whose objective is to highlight both what differentiates us and what connects us,” as well as the Google Arts & Culture platform through which “we have tried to bring our cultural heritage close to as many users of the web as possible.”

Exhibits have been digitalized for the new programme from 11 Greek museums and foundations: the Museum of the Acropolis, the Benaki Museum, the Museums of Islamic Art and Cycladic Art, the Numismatic Museum, St John the Theologian’s Monastery in Patmos, the Nikos Sofialakis Centre of Neoclassical Sculpture, the National Gallery Alexander Soutsos Museum, the Theoharakis Foundation, the Peloponnesian Folklore Museum and the Street Mode Festival. At the same time, as Mr Zarifopoulos mentioned, virtual tours have been created for the user ,wherever he/she might be, to be able via the web to experience visiting one of these museums. “This will make him/her visit Greece and get to know firsthand all the places he/she have seen on the web,” he added.

The new digital programme “The culture that connects us” includes online exhibits from more than 800 cultural institutions, 2,915 artworks in ultra-high-resolution and 1,000 emblematic locations recorded in Street View. These exhibits, which reveal fascinating stories about culture, give one the opportunity to tour the world of art, revealing unique, often unknown exhibits in all their detail and their range. The g.co/europeforculture provides the opportunity to browse the new programme. The Google Arts & Culture platform brings more than 1.500 museums from around the world to internet users. An application is available free of charge on iOS as well as on Android.