Oakland, Calif., May 29, 2013 — CyArk challenges the world to save at-risk cultural heritage. The destruction of Great Umayyad Mosque Minaret in Aleppo, Syria and the Nohmul Pyramid in Belize earlier this year underscores the vulnerability of centuries old structures. We need to save these sites before it is too late.
On October 20-22 at the Tower of London, CyArk will formally launch the CyArk 500 Challenge to digitally preserve 500 cultural heritage sites in the next five years. The event will include an announcement of the site selection criteria, unveiling of the first sites to be included in the 500 and a two-day conference to discuss the key issues in accomplishing the 500 Challenge. Founder Ben Kacyra says CyArk is on a mission to save these cultural heritage sites digitally before more are ravaged by war, terrorism, arson, urban sprawl, climate change, earthquakes, floods and other threats. "There isn’t enough money or enough time to physically save every site" says founder Ben Kacyra "but we do have the 3D technology to digitally save these sites to make them available for generations to come."
Earlier this month, CyArk held the first meeting of the CyArk 500 Advisory Council. The Council will play a critical role in the 500 by creating a list of criteria for a site’s inclusion in the 500. The CyArk 500 Advisory Council is chaired by current ICOMOS International president Gustavo Araoz. Additional members include Sheridan Burke, Godden Mackay Logan; Bonnie Burnham, World Monuments Fund; Christina Cameron, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage; Rohit Jigyasu, Ritsumeikan University; David Mitchell, Historic Scotland and Nelly Robles, El Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH).
The launch will be followed by a two-day conference attended by cultural heritage, technology, and philanthropy thought leaders from around the world. The launch and conference will bring together some of the world’s best minds and organizations to share experiences and best methods for capturing, disseminating and archiving information about these sites. The aim is to increase awareness of the need for heritage documentation and preservation, create best practices within the field, embrace new technologies and find creative ways to increase funding for these initiatives
Founded in 2003 by Ben and Barbara Kacyra, CyArk is a non-profit organization whose mission is to digitally preserve cultural heritage sites worldwide. CyArk has deployed advanced 3D imaging technologies to digitally capture and archive 3D data for more than one hundred cultural heritage sites ranging from Pompeii to Ti’kal to Mount Rushmore to the Royal Kasubi Tombs to the Sydney Opera House. CyArk data is used by site conservators and for education and cultural tourism purposes. The digital data is archived for posterity in Iron Mountain’s secure, underground vault. CyArk is headquartered in Oakland, California and has an office in Edinburgh.