DIGITIZED MASTERPIECES FROM FLORENCE PRESENTED AT UNESCOParis - Thousands of visitors crowd the renowned Uffizi Gallery in Florence every day, but many others leave the Tuscan capital without having had the chance to see the selection of Italy's most famous masterpieces displayed there. However, these disappointed art-lovers will soon be able to see impeccable reproductions of them on the Internet, or in travelling exhibitions, thanks to a UNESCO-backed project to digitize 2,000 of the Uffizi's works.
The three-year project, called DADDI (Digital Archive through Direct Digital Imaging), which ends in March 2003, is the combined work of an international team of Italian, Japanese and Danish experts, the University of Florence and several private firms, including Japan's Toppan Printing Company. UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will present the project at the Organization's Paris Headquarters on October 11.
Toppan, which produces very high-definition pictures (12,000 x 10,000 pixels) and sophisticated colour management technologies, will donate to UNESCO its life-size reproductions of four Uffizi masterpieces - Michelangelo's "The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist," Leonardo da Vinci's "The Annunciation," Botticelli's "Madonna of the Magnificat" and Filippo Lippi's "Virgin and Child with Two Angels." UNESCO will in turn give two of these works to the Italian Cultural Institute and the Japanese Cultural Centre in Paris.
High-definition digitized storage technology is playing an increasingly important role in preserving and promoting the world's cultural heritage, enabling people everywhere to see works that cannot be moved from their permanent place of display, mainly because of their fragility or the cost of insuring them. Digitized reproductions also allow experts all over the world to study the colours and contours of the work of the great masters.
Journalists wishing to attend this introduction, please contact:
UNESCO Press Service
Tel: (+33) (0)1 45 68 17 47