Panasonic Lumix Digital Cameras To Photograph Largest-Ever UNESCO World Heritage Photo Project
Panasonic is backing OUR PLACE - The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the largest-ever photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The photographs will be published under the OUR PLACE brand in an initial series of 10 books which will be released over the next five years.
A team of international photographers will cover the sites from their physical and geographical aspects, as well as document the human presence and interaction that helps make them so important to mankind. An interactive website will be launched later next year, when sufficient images are available. The website, www.ourplaceworldheritage.com, will feature World Heritage site photographs and background information relevant to the sites’ history and value.
The Panasonic-supported project will eventually field an international team of 20 photographers, who will shoot digital images of a large number of the 830 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 138 countries around the globe. The team will exclusively use Panasonic Lumix Digital Cameras, including the newly launched Digital SLR, DMC-L1.
"Panasonic is keen to contribute to photographic culture, and to help promote and protect the important UNESCO World Heritage sites through the Our Place Project,” said Mamoru Yoshida, Director of Digital Still Camera Business Unit of Panasonic AVC Networks Company, the largest internal division of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC). “This a project in which Panasonic is proud to be involved. Additionally, through the project, we would like to make people aware of the important value of the World Heritage sites and also about Panasonic’s strong commitment to photographic culture. Through Panasonic Lumix Digital Cameras we believe we can help to develop a new photo culture for the digital era.”
UNESCO’s World Heritage Center has announced a partnership between UNESCO and Our Place Publishing, a New Zealand publishing company, which will manage the project. “Under this new partnership, World Heritage sites, and the often extraordinary human stories linked to them, will become better known to all. Increased awareness, knowledge and appreciation will also lead to better protection for these remarkable places, many of which are extremely fragile,” says Francesco Bandarin, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
World Heritage sites are selected for inclusion on the site list if they are judged by the World Heritage Committee to be of “outstanding universal value” and of immense importance to the World for their cultural and natural significance.
Part of the profits from the publications will go back to a soon-to-be-established fund which will work to educate the public on World Heritage issues and could eventually help with the maintenance of some of the more endangered World Heritage sites themselves.
The principals behind the New Zealand company Our Place Publishing Ltd, are film and documentary maker, photographer and former television executive Geoff Steven, and Paul Bateman of David Bateman Ltd, a New Zealand publishing company which specializes in large co-productions with international publishing partners.
“As a photographer myself, it is a great opportunity as well as a creative challenge, to be able to shoot some of the world’s most important locations, and present them to a wide global audience through the OUR PLACE books and website. Panasonic’s input has been very beneficial for the project and it is great to be able to supply the latest Panasonic Lumix cameras to the professional photographers’ worldwide who are now joining the OUR PLACE team” says Geoff Steven.
“We are now starting to see the first photographs from the OUR PLACE photographers, and it will be a very rewarding task to present them and the many more that will be taken over the next years, to the international marketplace,” said Panasonic’s Mr. Yoshida. “We expect to actively promote both the World Heritage sites and Panasonic’s commitment to photographing them.”
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