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“Masterpieces of the World” – A Landmark Partnership between Wikimedia UK and the Khalili Collections

Wikimedia UK has launched a landmark partnership with the UK-based Khalili Collections – one of the greatest and most comprehensive private collections in the world.

As part of the “Masterpieces of the World” project, the Khalili Collections will initially provide a Creative Commons license to several high resolution images, as well as to summaries of its extensive research content relating to artwork and objects from around the world. The Collections plans to continue working with Wikimedia UK to further disseminate its content through the Wikimedia ecosystem so as to enrich the platform’s global cultural content.

“At Wikimedia, we are actively seeking to diversify our cultural content, and the Khalili Collections is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse collections in the world, spanning some two and a half millennia, with masterpieces from Europe, the Middle East, Scandinavia, East Asia, Russia, South Asia, North Africa and beyond”, said Lucy Crompton-Reid, CEO of Wikimedia UK. “We are proud to be partnering with one of the world’s great preservers of global cultural heritage”.

“We are delighted to be working with Wikimedia UK, undeniably a pioneer in delivering free access to cultural knowledge worldwide”, said Professor Nasser D. Khalili, Founder of the Khalili Collections. “The partnership is an important part of our wider, long-standing strategy to make the Collections – and the five decades of expert research dedicated to them – more accessible to art and culture lovers worldwide”.

About the Khalili Collections

Over the course of five decades, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Professor Nasser D. Khalili has assembled eight of the world’s finest art collections – each on its own merit being the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. They comprise:

Islamic Art (700-2000)
Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage (700-2000)
Aramaic Documents (535BC-324 BC)
Japanese Art of the Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Japanese Kimono (1700-2000)
Swedish Textiles (1700-1900)
Spanish Damascened Metalwork (1850-1900)
Enamels of the World from (1700-2000)
Together, the Eight Collections comprise some 35,000 magnificent works, many of which have been exhibited at prestigious museums and institutions worldwide. Each work of art in the Khalili Collections has been meticulously conserved, researched, catalogued and published as part of what is considered to be one of the most ambitious art scholarship projects in modern history. Seventy-two of over a hundred planned volumes have already been published, edited by Professor Nasser D. Khalili and with contributions from the world’s leading experts in each respective field. About Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia UK believes that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social and economic development. A registered charity, we work with the Wikimedia Projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge.

Wikimedia UK works in partnership with organisations from the cultural and education sectors and beyond in order to unlock content, remove barriers to knowledge, develop new ways of engaging with the public and enable learners to benefit fully from the educational potential of the Wikimedia projects.

We support the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level.

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