Salar Jung Museum’s Google account

DECCAN CHRONICLE | GOVIND VIJAYKUMAR
Published Sep 12, 2015, 5:52 am IST
Updated Jan 13, 2016, 3:53 pm IST
Hyderabad’s Salar Jung museum and Google Cultural Institute are now a team
Artefacts, paintings and photos from the museum are now online
 Artefacts, paintings and photos from the museum are now online

The city’s prestigious Salar Jung Museum has gone online with all its treasures, artefacts, paintings and photos. And that means, you could be miles away and still browse through the museum’s several hundred invaluable pieces from history.

The online avatar is thanks to efforts from the Google Cultural Institute — a massive mission by the tech giant to digitise humanity’s achievements and heritage. So alongside the Salar Jung Museum — on the same platform — are the Victoria Memorial Hall Kolkata, Dastkari Haat Samiti, Devi Art Foundation and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

 

Apart from the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, Kalakriti Archives, Heritage Transport Museum, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams, and the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute. One simply needs to go the website of the Google Cultural Institute, click on the museum he or she wants to browse through, and voila.

According to a release, the Google Cultural Institute was launched in 2012 in India with the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi as initial partners. Today, the Cultural Institute works with 18 institutions to showcase the best of Indian art and culture.

“The mission of the Cultural Institute is to make the world’s heritage accessible for global audiences and to preserve it digitally for generations to come. By bringing India's rich heritage online, we hope to introduce people across the globe to the fascinating world of Indian culture, history, and art.

We have expanded the scope of our technology so that anybody with a mobile phone can now explore Indian culture through unique partner apps. Partners can also embed content on their website, making Indian culture easily accessible to all,” said Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute, in a note. Meanwhile, reps from the Salar Jung Museum are excited. “This is very prestigious and helps promote the museum on an international platform,” said Dr.A. Nagender Reddy, director, Salar Jung Museum.

“We are now being seen alongside some of the world’s biggest museums including the Metropolitan Museum in New York. People will be able to access our pieces from anywhere. We were supposed to go live much earlier but Google revamped their tech and the resolution of photos so, that took a while. This was the result of a six-month-long initiative after we signed an agreement with Google,” said Reddy.

In an email interview with Deccan Chronicle, Sood also explained the origins of the Cultural Institute. A few Google engineers, passionate about art, teamed up to help museums make art more accessible. What was at first a 20 per cent project turned into the Google Art Project, that was launched in February 2011. The project then grew bigger with a dedicated team based in Paris and in October 2012 it became the Google Cultural Institute.

Sood added that having the Salar Jung Museum on board was “a privilege”. “We work with institutions across the world, and the Salar Jung Museum’s interest led to the partnership coming into being. It is one of the most prominent institutions in India, and we are privileged to have such a partner.”

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