(Taken from The Jakarta Globe and Associated Press)
Google and the Indonesian National Museum announced on Wednesday that everyone in the world can now view rare Indonesian batiks and historical artifacts online with a few simple mouse clicks.
Web users can visit googleartproject.com to see around 100 pieces of art, including traditional Indonesian batiks and artifacts from the Sultanates of ancient Indonesia, like the Kutai Kingdom in East Kalimantan.
The Web site features high-resolution images of the pieces and explains their cultural significance. Users can also view a map pinpointing where in Indonesia each item originated from.
For some of the works featured — like Mega Mendung batik cloth, which shows a Chinese influence — users can even view a video explaining how they were made.
The site provides insight into Indonesia’s diverse cultures and traditions by featuring the subtle differences in motif and technique evident in batiks created from one region to the next.
Viewers can also learn about the varieties of keris , or traditional daggers, from different parts of the country.
Also featured on the site are statues and sacred objects used in ceremonies and healing rituals, some still practiced today.
The Google Art project is a global partnership between Google and 151 cultural institutions in 40 countries that aims to make artwork accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The Acropolis museum in Greece, along with some other participating institutions, offers users a virtual three-dimensional tour of the actual museum.
Google Art Project launched in February 2011 with about 1,000 artworks from such institutions as the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Uffizi in Florence and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
“From now on anyone can visit these great institutions with just the click of a mouse,” Google president Margo Georgiadis said. “This project breaks down all of the barriers and allows people to study art in a seamless way.”
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