International convention on replication, storage and distribution of pieces of art and of cultural heritage by means of digital technologies

International convention on replication, storage and distribution of pieces of art and of cultural heritage by means of digital technologies

The ReACH (Reproduction of Art and Cultural Heritage) project is a global initiative of the Peri Charitable Foundation and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to establish a new international Convention on replication, storage and distribution of pieces of art and cultural heritage by means of digital technologies which was launched in May 2017 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The project coincides with the 150th Anniversary of Henry Cole’s Convention signed in 1876 by the majority of royal houses in Europe, including the Russian Emperor’s House. 

Digital technologies change the cultural landscape introducing new ways to produce, store and jointly use museum and history pieces. However, there is no exact methodology on how museums and heritage organizations should deal with these technologies. The situation gets more complicated as the legal protocols and procedures are not adjusted to the new facts of life and often become an obstacle for implementation of a new practice. The objective of ReACH is to develop a document that will enable to coordinate the law, technology, terminology and ethics parts of the digital replication project gathering pace. 

These and other issues had been discussed throughout the whole 2017 year at the world’s largest museums’ conferences with participation of leading museum community representatives and cultural heritage conservation experts. Meetings and discussions took place in London (Victoria and Albert Museum), the USA (Smithsonian Institution), the Arab Emirates (Louvre Abu Dhabi), China (Forbidden City) and St.-Petersburg (State Hermitage Museum).

On June 22, 2018 the final conference to present the new international convention took place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The convention is primarily aimed at the protection of museum interests and the preservation of cultural heritage for future generations as well as the provision of the society with a useful “roadmap” on replication, storage and distribution of pieces of art and cultural heritage.

Currently actions are being taken to promote and sign the convention with museums worldwide.