The CyArk 500 Challenge has the ambitious goal to digitally preserve 500 cultural heritage sites within the next five years. Heritage sites are a significant part of our collective memory and we are losing them at an alarming rate, due to natural causes and also human’s. Non-profit US organization CyArk, which has already successfully preserved “scores of the world’s most famous cultural sites,” is partnering with the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to laser scan a number of at-risk sites, including some in Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East.
CyArk was founded in 2003 to ensure heritage sites are available to future generations, while making them uniquely accessible today. CyArk operates internationally as a non-profit organization with the mission of using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression or ravaged by the passage of time. CyArk and its partners are on a mission to save these cultural heritage sites digitally before more are ravaged by war, terrorism, arson, urban sprawl, climate change, earthquakes, floods, and other threats.
CyArk has already completed 40 projects toward its goal of 500. These sites, called the Exemplar Projects, include Pompeii, Babylon, Mt. Rushmore, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Titanic, the Sydney Opera House and, most recently, the Tower of London. Members of the heritage community are invited to submit sites for consideration to be included in the CyArk 500. Interested governments, organizations and individuals are asked to submit a letter of interest. Submissions will be evaluated by the CyArk 500 Advisory Council for selection as part of the 500. Letters that pass the initial review will be asked to submit a formal application for review by the Advisory Council. Selected sites may be eligible to receive digital preservation funding through the CyArk 500 Fund.
More about CyArk and the 500 Challenge: http://www.cyark.org/projects/