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The CyArk 500 Challenge

Following the October launch of the CyArk 500 at the Tower of London, groups from all over the world have been nominating sites for inclusion in this unprecedented effort to digitally preserve world heritage. Cultures around the globe are witnessing the loss of their heritage to factors that range from natural disasters and human conflict to the simple passage of time or lack of effective site management. The CyArk 500 Challenge is an ambitious initiative to leverage cutting-edge 3D technologies to digitally preserve 500 heritage sites in five years.

The first round of site nominations closed on December 31, 2013 and now site submissions will be passed to the 500 Advisory Council for their review. CyArk received nominations encompassing nearly 200 sites in 28 countries. Sites include a monastery complex carved out of caves in Georgia, the modernist Oscar Niemeyer house in Brazil, ancient Buddhist site Borobudur in Indonesia, rock carvings in Iran, the Medieval Palace at Visegrád in Hungary, Kasbah “Taourirt” in Ouarzazate Morocco, the historic Kinderdijk windmill system of the Netherlands, Haveli in Pakistan’s Walled City of Lahore, rock paintings in Malawi, corbelled buildings in South Africa, remote cliff-dwellings in Turkey, Independence Hall in the United States, and Canterbury Cathedral in the UK – to name just a few!

Once the Advisory Council reviews the applications, select projects will continue onto the next round and will be asked to complete a full-fledged application, which includes detailed information on the significance of the site and scope of digital documentation necessary.

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