12.07.2013 - UNESCO Office in Venice

PreserVenice unveils UNESCO-funded smartphone app and website on public art in Venice

©PreserVenice app at app.preservenice.org

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Venice Project Center and the Culture Unit of the UNESCO Venice Office are pleased to announce the release of the “PreserVenice” website and smartphone app aimed at publicizing and protecting the unique collection of public art that adorns the streets and canals of the city of Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The PreserVenice website showcases all of the 1098 coats of arms, 943 patere (roundels), 394 reliefs, 173 sculptures, 109 street altars, 109 fountains, 75 crosses, 56 flagstaff pedestals, 32 decorations, 30 inscriptions and 25 fragments, for a total of 3,044 elements of Venice’s urban decor. Each piece’s information can be viewed in individual wiki pages on Venipedia (http://www.venipedia.org) and in more succinct forms viewable directly by clicking on artifact symbols on the map of Venice.

The companion PreserVenice app (app.preservenice.org) is usable on all smartphones, from the web browser, and it designed to elicit participation through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding from interested users who are willing to contribute to the upkeep of each collection piece by flagging erroneous data, by providing updated information or by taking new photos, and also by donating money towards chosen artifacts that need urgent repair.

The WPI Venice Project Center has collected information about an additional 5,000 artifacts that await funding to be included in the PreserVenice web site and app. The goal is to complete the publishing of all collected data and then creating a nonprofit organization called PreserVenice, that will collaborate with the UNESCO Venice Office to actively preserve and restore these outdoor testimonials of Venice’s past. The team plans a KickStarter campaign to fund the next phase of the project. In the spirit of the entire initiative, PreserVenice will employ “crowdfunding” techniques to collect restoration funds from many small contributors, who can make micro-donations in real time from the Venipedia wiki as well as from the mobile app, while face-to-face with a piece of public art in the streets of Venice.

The PreserVenice app currently runs on Chrome, Safari and Firefox . Internet Explorer might be supported at a later date.

Contact: Fabio Carrera, Worcester Institute, carrera.fabio(at)gmail.com




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