Earlier this week, the European Commission published a recommendation for a common European data space for cultural heritage.

As Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, explained, “[t]he tragic burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris showed the importance of digitally preserving culture and the lockdowns highlighted the need for virtually accessible cultural heritage.

The recommendation follows the evaluation of the previous recommendation on online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation (discussed on the blog here) and aims to “accelerate the digitisation of all cultural heritage monuments and sites, objects and artefacts for future generations, to protect and preserve those at risk, and boost their reuse in domains such as education, sustainable tourism and cultural creative sectors.

The common data space will be based on the European digital cultural platform, Europeana, and the recommendation encourages Member States to digitise by 2030 all monuments and sites that are at risk of degradation and half of those highly frequented by tourists.  Museums, galleries, libraries and archives across Europe will be able to use the Europeana platform to share and reuse digitised cultural heritage images, such as 3D models of historical sites and high quality scans of paintings.

A newly formed Commission Expert Group on the common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage will monitor the progress of the implementation of the recommendation.


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