The European Commission has just launched the ‘Twin it! 3D for Europe’s culture’ campaign and invited the 27 EU Ministries of Culture to select and submit one 3D digitised cultural heritage asset to the common European data space for cultural heritage, deployed by the Europeana initiative.

The aim is to accelerate the use and re-use of 3D in the common European data space by raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits and to help build capacity of EU Member States heritage institutions.

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:

Europeana currently gives access to 57 million cultural heritage assets with only 0.01% in 3D. Let’s take advantage of the opportunities brought by technology to preserve our European cultural heritage for future generations. Today, we are calling Member States to select digital 3D assets to enhance innovation and creation not only in the cultural and creative sectors but also in education, tourism and smart cities. This will benefit and empower people and businesses.

In its Recommendation of 2021 on a common European data space for cultural heritage, the Commission encouraged Member States to digitise all monuments and sites that are at risk of degradation by 2030 and half of those highly frequented by tourists. The ‘Twin it! 3D for Europe’s culture’ initiative will contribute to achieving these ambitious objectives.

The European Cultural Heritage Cloud, which is currently under preparation, will also support these objectives. Alongside Europeana and the Common European Dataspace for Cultural Heritage, the Cloud will reinforce the connections between cultural heritage institutions and professionals throughout the EU, driving collaboration and innovation in the digitisation, study and preservation of cultural heritage assets.

The pan-European 3D collection of emblematic cultural heritage assets will be showcased during a high-level event in Brussels planned in spring 2024 and will be accessible online.