European Commission proposes a common European data space for cultural heritage

On 10 November, the European Commission published a recommendation on a common European data space for cultural heritage with the aim of accelerating the digitisation of cultural heritage assets. The proposed data space will be added to Europeana, the already existing European digital cultural platform.

Member States are asked to accelerate the digitisation of all cultural heritage monuments and sites, objects and artefacts to protect and preserve those at risk as well as to boost their reuse in domains such as education, sustainable tourism and cultural creative sectors.

Until 2030, the Commission encourages Member States to digitise all monuments and sites that are at risk of degradation and half of those highly frequented by tourists.

By creating a common data space for cultural heritage, it will be easier for museums, galleries, libraries and archives across Europe to share and reuse digitised cultural heritage images such as 3D models of historical sites and high quality scans of paintings.

Currently, Europeana offers access to 52 million cultural heritage assets, 45% of which can be reused in various sectors. Images and text make up 97.5% of Europeana's assets, with only 2.47% audiovisual content and 0.03% in 3D. The collection of 3D assets in particular should see a substantial boost thanks to this initiative by the Commission.