Thursday 27 March 2014
The Paris Opera and the Google Cultural Institute are announcing an ambitious partnership to promote the history and heritage of the Palais Garnier. A virtual exhibition of photographs of the Etoiles of the Opera Ballet, a virtual tour based on Street View technology and a single, ultra-high resolution image of the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall will allow web surfers to discover or rediscover the riches of this Parisian monument, inaugurated in 1875.

Un partenariat riche et des contenus inédits

This partnership uses the entire range of technologies offered by Google through the Cultural Institute to enable web surfers to embark on a free and highly-documented virtual tour in X languages from their computer, tablet or smartphone :éra-national-de-paris

Hence Marc Chagall’s monumental work, painted on the ceiling of the theatre in 1964, is accessible on the platform in ultra-high resolution. Over three consecutive days and nights, five technicians worked in rotation to transcribe the minutest detail of the 240m2 pictorial composition. It is the largest work available on the site in Gigapixel, a technical feat given the height at which it is located (18 meters), the lighting conditions in the theatre, and the curved, circular nature of the support.

A voyage through time and space

Dance enthusiasts can also discover the portraits of the 82 Etoiles of the corps de Ballet who have marked the history of the Paris Opera, from the creation of the title of Etoile to the present day. Created in 2013 to mark the Tricentenary of the French school of dance, this online exhibition sheds new light on these exceptional performers.

Finally, the 360° views available from Google Street View enable us to reveal certain areas traditionally closed to the public, such as the roof or the famous Palais Garnier lake which inspired Gaston Leroux for his character in Phantom of the Opera. In order to offer these images, the teams of the Cultural Institute used the Street View trolley, a piece of technology specifically designed to circulate in confined spaces.

Treasures that are ever more accessible

Christophe Tardieu, Deputy Director of the Paris Opera: “We are proud to reveal the treasures of our heritage in such excellent conditions. The Palais Garnier is an extraordinary place which has had the privilege to be able to work with such an exceptional partner as the Google Cultural Institute. This major artistic, technical and educational collaboration ties in perfectly with our mission of public service: The Paris Opera belongs to everybody. This is why why we want to open it to one and all”.  

This partnership is the result of the close cooperation between the teams of the Opera and the Cultural Institute. The Palais Garnier is one of Paris’ emblematic buildings and we only had a  limited notion of the treasures it contained. We are delighted to be able to support this institution and to help make its treasures accessible to as many people as possible” explains Amit Sood the Director of the Cultural Institute.

About the Google Cultural Institute

Created in May 2011, the Google Cultural Institute is a platform which, in a few clicks, gives access to works of art, monuments and exhibitions from archives. All the content is chosen by Google’s 400 partners who are comprised of museums, cultural institutions and associations. The aim of the Cultural Institute is to preserve and promote the different cultural traditions by making them accessible to everyone free of charge through the use of web technologies.