SA heritage sites in focus

By Neo Maditla Time of article published Aug 30, 2013

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Cape Town - A Worldwide competition which encourages people to take pictures of heritage sites is a nifty way of using technology to connect South Africans to their heritage, says Heritage Western Cape chief executive Andrew Hall.

The Wiki Loves Monuments photographic competition opens for entries on Sunday. South Africans are encouraged to photograph and upload pictures of any of the 3 019 heritage sites in the country.

For the past two years, the competition has been named the largest photographic competition in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.

Hall said that the competition was a way of getting, especially young people with camera-phones, to appreciate South Africa’s cultural heritage.

“It is a way of connecting technology and heritage.”

The competition is organised by Wikimedia, which is part of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia stable.

Forty-six countries from around the world, including South Africa, are set to participate in the competition.

South Africa participated for the first time last year and had 1 854 photographs entered in the contest.

Last year’s winning photograph for South Africa was of the McClean Observatory in Cape Town which was submitted by Wimfilmalter.

All local entries will be judged by a panel of South Africans photographers and the best pictures from the local leg of the competition will be submitted for the international leg of the competition.

The competition will also allow members of the public to nominate what they think should be national heritage sites which will be considered by the national heritage agencies.

Hall said Heritage Western Cape has sponsored some of the community activities aimed at introducing the competition in different parts of the province.

“The pictures that are uploaded during the competition also form an important monitoring tool for us (Heritage Western Cape) because if someone does something illegal to a heritage building, we can go back to the pictures and see what the building looked like at a specific time. In a way the public can help us and contribute to help make South African heritage available worldwide.”

He said for those with no internet connection on their phones with which to upload pictures for the competition, all 28 provincial museums would make space available for people to be able to access the internet from there.

A list of the 3 109 heritage sites that can be photographed includes buildings, sites of Struggle and memory, graves, monuments, archaeological sites, among others.

l For more information on the competition and a list of the heritage sites go to www.wikilovesmonuments.co.za - Cape Argus

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