Google Honors Famed Finnish Architect Alvar Aalto

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-09-05 Print this article Print
Google honors Finnish artist

The second exhibition describes the 2013 renovation of the Vyborg Library, which when it was built was considered a modernist chef d'oeuvre, softening and humanizing the hard edges of German Bauhaus strictures into a new original, organic style, replacing steel with wood, and creating a warm, [cozy] atmosphere for the reader, wrote Echikson.

"Together, these initiatives demonstrate our commitment and confidence in Finland," he wrote. "This is a hard time for the country, with growth slowing and unemployment rising. At the same time, our Hamina data center keeps expanding and Internet infrastructure represent an important ray of economic hope. As this project demonstrates, we are committed to the country and are delighted to use the Internet to promote Finnish culture."

The Google Cultural Institute is involved in many efforts to bring history alive for online viewers around the world.

In July, the renovation and rebirth of England's Bletchley Park, which during World War II served as the home of a historic code-breaking center that helped bring about the eventual Allied victory in 1945, was featured in an online exhibit. After the war, the facility was left to decay and rot. Now, through the help and contributions of Google and others, Bletchley Park is undergoing a renaissance and has become a museum that is showing off the code-breaking technologies that were done there and that helped win the war.

Exhibits in the museum at Bletchley Park are available online through the Google Cultural Institute. The digital exhibit features material from Bletchley Park's Archives, providing a vivid snapshot of the work that went on cracking secret messages and the role it played in shortening the war, according to Google.

In June, Google's Cultural Institute commemorated the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the Normandy coast in France with a series of special online exhibits to illustrate the emotions, power and destruction of an epic and successful World War II battle that likely changed the course of the war. The online exhibits include an in-depth look into the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, featuring some 470 new documents and images.

The Google Cultural Institute, established in 2010 to help preserve and promote culture online, make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone, and digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations, has been actively adding to its growing collections.

In April 2014, the Institute began offering virtual tours of the opulent Palais Garnier opera house in Paris using Google Street View images to showcase the beautiful and grand opera house, which has been hosting performances since it opened in 1875.

Also in April, the Institute helped to highlight the U.S civil rights movement through a fascinating online collection of documents, photographs and film clips in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the highlights of the online collection is an emotionally worded telegram from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to President Kennedy from June 1963, as well as a personal request to meet with Kennedy on the day of the March on Washington in August 1963 from one of the march organizers. Also included is a copy of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 itself. The collection, with its photos, documents and other content, is moving as it describes and recreates the turmoil of the nation during the period, which also included the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

A "Women in Culture" project was launched by the Institute in March 2014 that tells the stories of known and unknown women who have impacted our world to commemorate International Women's Day.


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