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Report written by Lorine Schieber & Hugo Bonnaffé

Launch of the Virtual Centre Pompidou participates the Virtual Centre Pompidou

The Centre Georges Pompidou revealed its new website on october 4th, 2012. It was named the CPV, or "centre Pompidou Virtuel" (Virtual Centre Pompidou) and is an ambitious and unique initiative. It's about providing all the resources and collections of the greatest European museum of modern and contemporary art to the masses. As one of the project's patron, participated to the press conference for the website's initial release.

A World First

It was in Paris, in the museum itself and in the presence of Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communications, that the launch of the Virtual Centre Pompidou press conference was held. The centre's president, Alain Seban and its general manager, Agnès Saal, have shown the journalists the result of years of work. now entirely replaces the previous website that stood in its place.

The platform contains over 100,000 digital resources, and all of the 75,000 pieces of art exposed and preserved by the museum. It also boasts audio and video files, as well as documents from the Centre Georges Pompidou past exhibitions and collaborations. Among these are interviews with artists and curators of the exhibitions, lectures, catalogues, archives, etc. The website does not offer a virtual visit of the Centre Pompidou however, because "nothing can replace direct contact with a piece of art" explains Alain Seban. The museum's virtual twin serves another purpose.

Through the use of semantic web technologies, as well as a constant updating of the website's contents, navigation itself comes as innovative. Simply put, the systems "understand" the meaning of the information through tags or keywords that are related to it as to automatically create pertinent connections between different pieces of data. The user then has access to an extensive list of results when researching a theme, an artist, an idea, an era, etc.

The project also distinguishes itself by using opensource software and by its will to cooperate with users to build its content, mainly via social networks. The Minister reminds us that by giving free access to culture, this "innovative" website is the answer to a "general public concern". This is a European and World premiere that shows great promise of renewing the "experience of art", and that demonstrates that everything digital must not only be conceived as a threat to culture.'s Know-How Serving Cultural Democratization

The total cost of this project is a massive 12 million euros, supported by financial and competency patronage. And it is as patrons that Pernods-Ricard's vice-president and CEO Pierre Pringuet, CGI's managing partner Stéphane Batiot and's president Henri Klaba spoke during the press conference. The company from Roubaix was chosen as hosting provider for the website. It represents a task of utmost importance, since it has to be able to offer an uninterrupted 24/7 availability. When asked about's participation in the CPV project, Henri Klaba speaks of his company's and the museum's common grounds. "We are the avant-garde. While the museum specializes in the arts, thrives in new technologies. We have a worldwide network, and we are very happy that it may help French culture be known across the world", M. Klaba concludes.