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Google Art Project Expands to 30,000 pieces from 151 Museums in 40 countries

APR:2012 by Jamillah -UK Editor for The Next Web.
Intended to bring some of the greatest works of art directly to your computer, the original Art Project launched last year with partnerships with 17 museums in nine countries and 1,000 images.

The collection has gradually expanded, and today, Google bumped that number up to 30,000 high-resolution images.

Amit Sood, head of the Google Art Project, explained on the official Google blog how interest in the Art Project grew:

Since we introduced the Art Project last year, curators, artists and viewers from all over the globe have offered exciting ideas about how to enhance the experience of collecting, sharing and discovering art. Institutions worldwide asked to join the project, urging us to increase the diversity of artworks displayed.

Now culture fans will be able to explore sculpture, street art and photographs from 151 museums in 40 countries.

Street View images are now displayed in finer quality. A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360-degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of more than 385 rooms within the museums. You can also explore the gallery interiors directly from within Street View in Google Maps.

Google is seeking more partners in the United States, Europe and emerging markets. It says the service won’t generate revenue, including through advertising, though it gave no figures.

“Everyone asks me if we have Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ ” said Amit Sood, who heads the project. “We’re talking to people from the Louvre. Maybe they’ll be part of the next phase,” he said of the world’s most visited museum. The Louvre press office declined to comment.

The Israel Museum already had the Dead Sea Scrolls online; they were viewed by 1 million visitors from more than 200 countries in about three days.

The Google Art Project now has 46 artworks available with “gigapixel” photo capturing technology, photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution. This means that the brushwork and patina of paintings can be explored with the naked eye and no chance of setting off alarms.

According to the Google Blog,

 “The Art Project is part of our efforts to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. Under the auspices of the Google Cultural Institute, we’re presenting high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, and creating 3D models of 18th century French cities.”

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Our image server at not only features festival and travel photos but also art and history that inform great annual cultural traditions. We are glad to see these 151 Museums open up to a conversation regarding the art we should get to know better.  

Rio Police win 38% wage Increase and say not enough

Police officers went on strike just before Carnival celebrations and ended it just as quickly findly little support for their timing. that  No city annually produces a greater series of massive events attended by hundreds of thousands and these events are all heavily policed.  The world watched as Rio authorities said they were ready to call in  14,000 army soldiers

The decision came just two days after a similar strike ended in the northeastern state of Bahia, which saw the homicide rate double in its capital, Salvador, during the 12 day stoppage [more]

The strike, however, never affected security in the city, the number of officers who adhered to it appeared relatively small and authorities never had to call on army soldiers to patrol streets, as was feared. The government made no new concessions to officers to end the strike. However they had made a very generous offer which remains just prior to the strick.

“The situation is normal “  police spokesman Frederico Caldas told the Globo TV network  and that “we will not accept any sort of action against discipline.”

The officers decided during a midnight rally to start the work stoppage, not content with legislative approval of a 39 percent raise to be staggered over this year and the next, along with a promise of more in 2014.

“We didn’t want to strike,” said Paulo Nascimento, a search and rescue firefighter. “We’re putting this on Governor Sergio Cabral’s conscience.”

Some longtime officers were proud of bringing together Rio’s security forces in a joint strike for the first time.

Fernando Bandeira, president Sinpol, of one of the unions representing police, said officers and firefighters together decided to end the strike because “we don’t want to harm our Rio, especially during Carnival.”

He warned, however, that officers would take up their grievances once the party is over.

“What we were given were crumbs, and not even close to what we asked for,” he said. “After Carnival we’re going to talk again to renew our demands. The movement is alive

Current base pay for police starts at $964 in Rio state, which despite being Brazil’s second-wealthiest state has long paid its officers far less than the salaries earned by their colleagues in many parts of the country.

Rio state police suffer high fatality rates as they battle powerful drug gangs and street crime. In 2010, 19 police officers were killed on the job, and 31 were killed in 2009, the latest police data show.

Rio Governor Sergio Cabral had urged officers to stay on the job, appealing to their sense of duty and responsibility.

“You cannot have a strike in essential services like public safety,” Cabral said at a news conference. “Rio de Janeiro doesn’t deserve this.”

Dissatisfaction among officers and firefighters in Rio has been brewing for months, with protest marches growing. Last month, 20,000 officers marched along Copacabana beach demanding a wage increase, fewer hours on the job and a bonus for difficult working conditions.

Rio’s police are among the lowest paid in Brazil, and as Brazil’s economy has boomed in recent years, and so has the cost of living. Rio de Janeiro

As part of the effort to improve morale and fight the corrupting power of drug and extortion money, public security chief Beltrame has pushed for improving salaries and hiring new officers, the public security department said in a statement.

Without giving details of how many new officers were hired, the department said personnel expenses with the military police went from $530 million in 2006 to $1.3 billion budgeted for 2012.

While the current base pay for police starts at $964 per month in Rio state, it can go to $1,169 for a starting officer willing to participate in available training courses, the department said.

It’s not just the police who are straining at the reins: construction workers on the remodeling of Rio’s Maracanã stadium organized a strike over work conditions last year. In the state of Rio, workers are currently in conflict in Itaguaí, where Petrobras is building a huge petrochemicals complex, Comperj.

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