Britain has launched an initiative to digitize all of its publicly owned sculptures by 2020, making it the first country to create an online catalogue of its entire national sculpture collection.
This three-year initiative will make images of 170,000 sculptures from public collections in arts institutions, parks, and public squares available on the website of Art UK, the registered name for the Public Catalogue Foundation, which has been digitizing works in the country since 2002.
Art UK has partnered with the BBC, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, Culture Street, Factum Foundation, the Royal British Society of Sculptors, the Royal Photographic Society, and VocalEyes to take on the project, which will focus on sculpture from the last one thousand years.
Funding is being provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Scottish government, grant-giving trusts, and more than seventy individual and corporate donors. The digitization process will begin in the fall, and the first documented sculptures will be accessible online around the beginning of next year.