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British Museum treasures go online in Google partnership

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London: Thousands of artefacts from the British Museum’s priceless collections went online today in a partnership with Google that will allow web-users to take a virtual stroll through its galleries.

The deal with the Google Cultural Institute, which has 800 partners from over 60 countries, also allows objects to be scrutinised by researchers around the world thanks to high-definition Gigapixel technology.

Among artefacts viewable online is the famous Rosetta Stone, which helped unlock the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphs, and sculpture from the Parthenon in Athens.

“The world today has changed, the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology,” British Museum director Neil MacGregor said in a statement.

“It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device,” he said.

There will also be a “Museum of the World” accessible through the site — a way of viewing the artefacts mapped to a timeline to allow users to make connections between cultures around the world.

Google and British Museum said in a statement that the collections would be “the largest space to be captured on indoor Street View”.

Highlights from the museum’s temporary exhibitions will also be available online, including two currently running on the Celts and ancient Egyptian religions.

Google announced a similar initiative last month that will allow users to view 500,000 works in French museum collections.