Wiki Loves Public Art – check out the entries!

The first Wiki Loves Public Art photo contest has now closed to entrants. We are pleased to say that it succeeded beyond expectations as there were a total of 9,250 photos submitted by 224 contestants in Austria, Finland, Israel, Spain and Sweden. These photos of over 2,155 different artworks are now available on Wikimedia Commons under free licences, which means they can be re-used in, for example, online projects such as Wikipedia.

Gato_(Fernando_Botero)._Rambla_del_Raval._CamilleHardyOne of the entries for WLPA 2013: ‘Gato (Fernando Botero). Rambla del Raval, abans a la pl. Blanquerna (Barcelona)’ by Camille Hardy, CC-BY-SA

The goal of the Wiki Loves Public Art (WLPA) contest was to get as many pictures of public art as possible available under a free licence on Wikimedia Commons. The 9,250 contest submissions can now be seen and used by anyone, anywhere. These pictures will help Wikipedia (the world’s sixth largest website) to see a boost in its art coverage as photos in the contest can be added to illustrate articles in the online encyclopedia. The contest is organised by Wikimedia Sverige, Europeana and volunteers in the Wikimedia chapters and affiliated groups in each of the participating countries.

Johann Nestroy - Denkmal

One of the entries for WLPA 2013: Johann Nestroy – Denkmal, Austria by g.orzel, CC-BY-SA

‘We are so happy that we have been able to increase our common collection of artwork photos and make them easily accessible to everyone through Wikipedia. The contest has succeeded beyond our expectations and we cannot wait to organise the contest again next year, hopefully in many more countries’, says the international WLPA coordinator, John Andersson from Wikimedia Sverige.

Català: A Rovira i Trias (Joaquim Camps). Pl. Rovira i Trias (Barcelona)

One of the entries for WLPA 2013:  A Rovira i Trias (Joaquim Camps). Pl. Rovira i Trias (Barcelona) by Enfo, CC-BY-SA

Nearly two-thirds of the submissions for the contest came from Barcelona, where the streets are filled with art from, for example, Gaudi, Miro and Picasso to mention just a few. In Spain, the Freedom of Panorama laws also allow any artwork to be photographed and the photo to be published under a free licence.

Näsikallion suihkukaivo (1913) - Emil Wikström. Sijainti: NäsikallioOne of the entries for WLPA 2013: Näsikallion suihkukaivo (1913) – Emil Wikström. Sijainti: Näsikallio, by Perttu Torvinen, CC-BY-SA

Not all of the participating countries however have the same legal situation, for example, in Finland, the photos for the contest had to be of artworks whose creator has been dead for more than 70 years. The diverse copyright laws and the fact that most countries lack a national database of their artworks have been the biggest challenges of organising the contest.

‘The volunteers have been amazing in all of the countries in putting together the lists of artworks that can be photographed for the contest, as well as making contacts with museums to let us come and photograph their collections’, states John Andersson.

Dani Karavan, 1988, Edith Wolfson Park, Tel Aviv-YafoOne of the entries for WLPA 2013:  Dani Karavan, 1988, Edith Wolfson Park, Tel Aviv-Yafo, by Shaula Haitner via the PikiWiki – Israel free image collection project, CC-BY

The photos uploaded for the contest will now be judged nationally, then the ten best pictures from each country will be sent to the international jury. The prizes for the three internationally best pictures – which will be announced in July – are travel gift certificates for 500 euros, 300 euros and 200 euros, and on top of that Europeana has sponsored high quality prints of the winning pictures that will be sent to the winners.

So, which do you like? Browse all the entries on Wikimedia Commons.

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