Google Art Project is an initiative that Google Inc. started in February 2011. Currently, the project has partnered with more than 150 of the world's major museums and cultural centers, providing virtual tours and featuring high-resolution close-ups of masterworks. Nevertheless, the most visited museum in the world, The Louvre in Paris, hasn't taken part in the project.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Uffizi in Florence and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam are in the list already and almost every day a new museum or gallery becomes part of the project. The latest additions that went online this month include the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and Jerusalem's Israel Museum and from today the virtual art gallery has a more Southern American flavor with art museums in South Carolina and Georgia.
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According to San Francisco Chronicle, Amit Sood, head of the project, mentioned "everyone asks me if we have Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa' "he added, "We're talking to people from the Louvre. Maybe they'll be part of the next phase". So far, The Louvre press office has declined to comment.
Using the high-tech giant's Google Street technology, the Google Art Project brings virtual tours of 46 museums. With images larger than a gigapixel (1 billion pixels) the viewers to get to see the cracks in the parchment and other details that are not visible to the naked eye, thanks to the zoom-in feature.
According to the project website, their future plans are to expand the project to more countries and museums. They "are also thinking of developing a experimental section, which will showcase how Artists are using new emerging technologies to showcase their Art," it added.