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HP Technology Provides Millions Access to World's Precious Treasures

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, Calif.--July 28, 2003-- Curators from around the world are increasingly turning to technology to aid in the preservation of artistic masterpieces, with dozens of museums, galleries and cultural organizations relying on technologies provided by HP to support their efforts. According to a 2002 report by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, 87 percent of museums use at least some information technology, with that number growing as many institutions turn to solutions - like those offered by HP - that support the study, documentation and preservation of virtually all artistic mediums, including paintings, textiles, photographs, porcelain and pottery, sculptures and countless others. Technology not only supports the preservation of fine art, but also helps break down cultural barriers by making collections and resources available to as many people as possible via the Web. At the National Gallery of London, masterpieces by van Gogh, da Vinci, Rembrandt, Titian and Monet have been painstakingly restored and catalogued using HP technologies. HP technology also has enabled the Gallery to provide prints of its vast collection "on demand" to museum patrons. Art lovers can now access online rare collections of Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher Gil and other India modern art from the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, which has used HP technologies to digitize at high resolution and catalog its collection. At Brazil's Lasar Segall Museum, innovative HP wireless solutions make the visitor's time in the museum more dynamic by transmitting information about works of art to handheld devices. HP technology has enabled the Holy See to give millions of people online access to the Vatican's Apostolic Library, one of the most prestigious collections of manuscripts, documents and antique texts in the world. Additionally, HP will provide the Holy See with HP technology to maximize service availability, reliability and processing response speed. The IT infrastructure will ensure that all visitors have an optimal experience navigating the precious works of art. Users also will soon be able to access the Museums Web site on the go using mobile telephones and mobile devices such as HP iPAQ 5450 Pocket PCs powered by Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) technology. HP has assisted 18 Native American tribal communities in Southern California to preserve their unique culture online by recording their own languages with video and audio support, and then creating an archive of their languages and their elders' stories on the site. "It's a great privilege that such prominent museums and cultural institutions turn to HP for assistance in maintaining the world's greatest treasures," said Huw Robson, head of the HP Labs Arts and Sciences Division. "We look forward to working with these institutions and many others to help preserve the arts and culture for future generations." HP technology solutions for the preservation, conservation and communication of art and culture, include: Infrared scanning and imaging solutions that see through paint pigment to reveal an artist's original charcoal or lead drawings that formed original sketches, allowing curators to see how paintings evolved and changed during the preparation phase; Large format printers that allow for near-perfect color reproduction and are used by curators in advance of touching original works of arts to ensure color matches; Polynomial texture mapping technology used to study the precise brushwork of major paintings so curators can mimic brushstrokes when retouching original pieces; HP high-volume storage and processing server systems scanning collections at extreme quality resolution and storage; Services such as printing on demand, which requires the development of innovative fine arts digitization processes and high-quality HP printing solutions; Design and improvement of the information technology infrastructure of art and cultural Web sites so consumers can access the millions of treasures online from the convenience of their own homes; Mobile technologies, such as HP iPAQ 5450 Pocket PCs powered by Wi-Fi technology, make museums' Web site information available for people on the go. "Van Gogh and Monet never could have imagined the technology that's being used today to preserve their paintings," said Clare Gough, head of communications and media at the National Gallery. "The HP technologies that are being used on these masterpieces, as well as numerous others at the National Gallery, are invaluable tools to the curators who work so diligently to ensure the pieces maintain their original artistic integrity despite weathering the elements and enduring the passage of time." The achievements of HP's technology and its impact on the arts and culture are being highlighted in a worldwide brand advertising campaign that kicked off May 27 in USA Today and will run throughout 2003. The campaign, created by San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, features "Yellow Lives On" by Vincent van Gogh, which is currently being conserved using HP technology solutions by the National Gallery of London. For more information on and to see how HP technologies support the preservation of art and culture, visit http://www.hp.com/go/nationalgallery for an online press kit and b-roll.