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Latest update : 2011-02-08

Web users are mobilizing to protect Egypt’s heritage

Web users are mobilizing to protect Egypt’s heritage. The web comments on the severe flooding in Sri Lanka. And it’s now possible to visit the world’s most prestigious museums with Google

Protecting Egypt’s heritage

Restoration work has begun on damaged artifacts belonging to the Egyptian museum in Cairo. Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, made the announcement on his blog. 70 relics, including a statue of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen were damaged during the recent anti-Mubarak protests. The Minister explains what has been damaged, and stresses that the country’s museums and archeological sites are now safe.

Archeologists are not reassured by his comments however. This Facebook group, set up by Belgian Egyptologist Jacques Kinnaer, is made up of members of this scientific community who are sharing information on the different artifacts that were damaged during the looting.

Egyptophile Kate Phizackerley, runs the Egyptopaedia portal and has set up a collaborative database to catalogue the looting, site by site, and draw up a list of the damaged and missing objects. The aim is to discourage the selling of stolen artifacts.

Rick St Hilaire, a lawyer with a specialty in cultural heritage, is calling upon the American customs services to be vigilant and on his web site, he is offering advice on procedures to follow when reporting a suspicious object, in order to fight the trafficking of antiquities.

On her web site, British Egyptologist Margaret Maitland is paying tribute to the Egyptians who have mobilized to protect their heritage.

Some citizens even went as far as forming an actual human chain around the prestigious Bibliotheca Alexandrina to protect it from vandals, as we see in these images posted online by Neri Sami who lives in Alexandria.


Floods in Sri Lanka

The web is mobilizing for Sri Lanka as for one week now; the north east of the country has been hit by fresh floods, caused by monsoon rains. The severe weather has reportedly killed dozens of people and forced thousands of others to flee their homes. The situation is being widely relayed online.

An interactive map has been created via Google maps so that web users can see which areas have been the worst affected or those most at risk. It also provides information on the camps that have been set up to shelter victims as well as the emergency operations underway…

As we see in these images posted online by members of Sarvodaya, an NGO at the scene, the emergency services are on hand to help victims, the humanitarian workers are distributing basic food products and also blankets to residents of the Batticala region, some of whom have lost everything they own in the floods.

And videos of the damage caused by the floods continue to appear on sharing sites. Dozens of videos like these ones filmed by worried people confronted with the rising water levels are available to view online. And here, soldiers from the Sri Lankan air force filmed the disaster hit zones from their helicopter.

The situation has prompted the local Red Cross to sound the alarm bells. According to the organization, over 1 million people have been directly affected by this severe weather, and it is appealing for online donations to go towards food and new housing for the many victims in the country.

 

Google Art Project

With Google Art Project, it is now possible to visit the world’s most prestigious museums from the comfort of your own home. By using this new service provided by the American giant, web users can take virtual visits and discover over 1 000 works exhibited in 17 internationally renowned museums, like the MoMA in New York, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum and also the Palace of Versailles. It is possible to click on each of the digitized artworks and study them in the finest detail.

 

UK online crime map

The British police force has launched a site providing, in just a few clicks, statistics on crimes and offences committed in the UK. By entering in the name of a place on “police.uk” web users can access data grouped by crime types, street by street. The 6 different categories are burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime, anti-social behavior and “other crime”. The purpose of the site is to provide citizens with real crime figures and encourage the police to feedback information.

 

Video of the day

4 blindfolded boxers fighting in a boxing ring in Thailand… The person behind the camera of this video posted this odd performance online. This strange sport is far from uneventful, even for the referee who sometimes, unwillingly, gets caught up in the action.

 

By Electron Libre

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