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Photos: Google Street View cameras capture works of art

Google Art Project uses Street View cameras in galleries across the globe...
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By Shelley Portet on
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Google Art Project uses Street View cameras in galleries across the globe...

Google has unveiled the latest project to use its Street View technology. The Google Art Project comprises a collection of images from galleries across the world, captured by the search giant's cameras.

Street View cameras were given access to 17 galleries across 11 cities, including the National Gallery and Tate Britain in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The photo above was taken inside the National Gallery in London.

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Specially designed Street View trolleys, seen above, were used to create 360-degree images from inside the galleries, giving users access to 385 rooms across the 17 art institutions.

Users can access the gallery interiors direct from Street View in Google Maps as well as through the dedicated Google Art Project site.

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The Art Project also includes more than 1,000 high-resolution images of works of art provided by the galleries themselves, such as the image of Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' shown above, provided by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Users will be able to zoom in on the detail of these images, enabling art lovers to discover minute aspects of paintings they may never have seen before, Google said in a statement.

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This photo shows Sir John Everett Millais' painting 'Ophelia', currently displayed at Tate Britain.

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate Britain, stressed the importance of making art more widely available in a statement about the Art Project: "This pioneering collaboration between Google and some of the world's leading arts organisations gives us a taste of the digital future for museums. New technology means we can now take these extraordinary artworks beyond their individual homes to create the first global art collection."

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Here is the Google Art Project's view of a room in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Google described the Art Project as the latest in a long line of beneficial resources created using the Street View technology. "We have created what we hope will be a fascinating resource for art lovers, students and casual museum-goers alike - inspiring them to one day visit the real thing," said Google Art Project head Amit Sood.

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This photo shows Antoine Benoist's portrait of Louis XIV, currently displayed at the Palace of Versailles.

Despite recent controversy surrounding private data collected by Street View cars from wi-fi networks and ongoing privacy concerns about Google's Street View technology, Google has insisted that people will eventually see the benefits of the Street View service.

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Vincent van Gogh's 'Starry Night', exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is another painting available in high resolution to users of Google's Art Project.

As well as recording most of the UK's roads, Google's Street View technology has captured everything from penguins in Antarctica to the home of the Loch Ness monster.

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