Feb 02 2011

Why the Mona Lisa is Smiling – GoogleArt


The world record for the fastest visit to the Lourve museum stands at 3min 37 secs, held jointly by Peter ‘Besty’ Best, Richard ‘Hendo’ Hendriks and Mark ‘Wombat’ Williams, who visited on their first evening in Paris during the Syndey University Rugby Club Tour on January 11th, 1984. Stumbling across the Palais du Louvre by chance, they decided to ‘get the Mona Lisa thing’ over and done with as quickly as possible.

The world record for the longest visit to the Louvre museum is 9hs 47 mins, held by Sean ‘Franga’ Francis, also a member of the same Sydney University rugby tour. On their arrival in Paris early on January 11th, 1984, Sean was delayed by an unsceduled convenience stop and became disconnected from the touring party. Having no idea where his teammates were billeted, he came up with the brilliant idea that if he sat by the Mona Lisa long enough, someone he knew was sure to come along sooner or later. Not a bad plan for a forward. Luckilly for him, Besty, Hendo and Willo ………

You can now recreate either of these great moments in Louvre history without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Employees at Google are expected to spend 20% of their time on a project of their own choosing, and many of these have resulted in new google products. The Google Art Project http://www.googleartproject.com/ is an example of one of these Google 20% projects, an dit was announced today in the Google Blog.

Using it you can ‘explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.’

The site uses Google street view technology to allow you to walk through some of the world’s great museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Ufizzi Gallery, Florence. You can zoom in on the displayed artworks to ‘brushwork’ detail.

You can read more about it in the google blog
or check it out at  

NB On checking, the Louvre is not one of the currently available museums. I claim poetic licence.

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