Show some love for Flemish cultural heritage


Campaign aims to improve the quality of open-access information about cultural heritage, with a photo contest at the centre

Living history

A campaign to raise the profile of Flemish cultural heritage online has just begun, aiming to increase the quantity and quality of Wikipedia entries on cultural heritage in Flanders.

“In order to create more support and love for our heritage, we need to put it in the spotlight,” said minister-president Geert Bourgeois, launching the campaign on Friday with culture minister Sven Gatz. 

The campaign, called Wiki Loves Heritage, aims to mobilise heritage enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, to write more Wikipedia pages about Flanders or improve existing pages by adding detail or contributing images, sound files or videos. Meanwhile, heritage organisations are encouraged to upload their own content or to work with the public. They can do this by holding writing sessions, organising events such as culture walks, or inviting contributions from photographers.

The emphasis should be on open access, with digital content contributed under a free-use license. “Focusing on open platforms such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons increases re-use,” said Gatz. “Everyone can use this information and these images and adapt and distribute them on Wikipedia and beyond. By doing this we can reach a new and broader audience and increase awareness of our heritage.”

The centrepiece of the campaign is a photo competition that aims to get more and better images of Flemish cultural heritage online. This includes fixed, moveable and intangible cultural heritage, with inspiration and tips on the competition site. The competition runs until 15 November, with an award ceremony planned for the end of the year.

Photo: the Holy Blood Procession in Bruges dates back to the 14th century and takes place every year on Ascension Day to re-enact the resurrection of Christ

© Heilig Bloedprocessie vzw/Frank Toussaint