Attractions industry news

03 Jul 2017

Art UK secures funding to digitise UK's collection of 170,000 sculptures

Art UK has announced plans for a £3.8m (US$4.9m, €4.3m) project to catalogue and digitise the UK’s entire public collection of more than 170,000 sculptures.

The three-year project – which has Heritage Lottery, Arts Council England and government funding – will focus on sculptures from the last 1,000 years, with all objects recorded and the majority to be photographed, some in 3D. This collection will then be displayed on the artuk.org website from 2018, with the full collection to be available by the end of 2020.

“The next few months will see us concentrate on recruiting and training the first project staff and volunteers,” said Katey Goodwin, Art UK deputy director and head of Digitisation and Public Engagement.

“We expect to start the digitisation process in the autumn of 2017 and see the first sculptures on Art UK around the beginning of next year.”

Art UK is working in partnership with a number of national bodies on the project, including the BBC, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, Culture Street, Factum Foundation, the Royal British Society of Sculptors, the Royal Photographic Society and VocalEyes.

The funding will also be used for training and learning schemes, taking place across Britain. One confirmed programme will be Masterpieces in Schools, which will see a collection of 125 sculptures taken into primary and secondary schools for a day. Plans also include taking art into shopping centres and helping people develop new skills. Sixty films about sculpture and sculptors will also be made with and by young people, with the work linked to the UK’s National Curriculum.

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