Heritage: Google Exhumes Cinecittà’s Archival Footage

Preserving Film History

Nélida Nassar  07.10.2012


Following Nelson Mandela’s personal archives posting, Google pursues its strategy of scanning historical documents thus preserving and making history with a capital H. According to the Guardian, its new endeavor is the scanning of “Cinecittà Luce” Institute funds that are now available on YouTube via a dedicated channel. More than 30,000 archival records preserved by the Italian public company will be accessible to web users which can be viewed using the following short presentation.

This “historic” partnership will also allow the public to have access to famous scenes in Italian cinema with its world class, exceptional actors and actresses. These include Sophia Loren in  seductive “pizzaiola” in 1954’s The Gold of Naples (the oro di Napoli) by Vittorio
de Sica, and Gina Lollobrigida, dubbed in the ’50s as “the most beautiful woman in
the world.”

Interviewed by the British newspaper, a Google executive states that after scanning Nelson Mandela’s archives; The dead Sea Scrolls; and over 33,000 works of art, as well as the posting of Yad Vashem’s 130,000 images, this new initiative is another step in the company’s philosophy to “make the Web the mirror of the world.”

The Guardian notes that among the many films available online, some will allow the viewer to reexamine Italy’s history of fascism and its propaganda. We can see Benito Mussolini at work, on a podium delivering a speech, or during the many sporting activities he attended including advertising that then highlighted the strength of the Duce. Undoubtedly, Google will continue to propel us into a challenging futuristic world without ever forgetting the power and scope of history.

Originally Published in Berkshire Fine Arts

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