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The Museo del Prado joins ArtBabble Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As of today, the Prado is the first Spanish and the third European museum to be present on this American portal created by one of the world’s most advanced museums in the application of the new technologies to the dissemination of art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). The content of the portal, launched in 2009, solely focuses on videos generated by museums and art institutions for online diffusion. ArtBabble won the “Best of the Web Prize” (general category) at the 2010 Museums and the Web conference.

The Museo del Prado joins ArtBabble

ArtBabble homepage

Through this new affiliation with ArtBabble, the Museo del Prado today took a further step forward in its mission to promote knowledge of its collections and activities on a world-wide basis. The Prado’s channel on this portal has been launched with a total of 21 videos with sound in Spanish and subtitles in English, divided into two categories. The first comprises videos that comment on aspects of the works in the Museum’s collection, while the second focuses on videos that provide detailed information on its recent restoration of a number of works of art. The channel will be continually updated with new audio-visual content generated by the Prado within these two categories.

Conceived, designed, programmed, edited and launched by different departments of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), ArtBabble brings together videos on art in high quality format from a variety of sources and offering different viewpoints. ArtBabble is the only platform on the internet specifically created to encourage museums around the world to join forces with the aim of disseminating art online through their videos. The invitation extended to the Museo del Prado was made by the IMA in the light of the Prado’s commitment to disseminating and promoting its contents on the internet in audio-visual format. With its acceptance of the invitation to join ArtBabble, the Prado is one of the few museums outside the USA to participate in this portal.

The key difference between ArtBabble and other pages that house and promote videos on the internet (such as YouTube or Vimeo to mention the two most important) is its specialised nature, given that ArtBabble only offers contents related to art and generated by the participating museums. The videos to be seen on the channels of the museums involved cover a wide range of subjects and offer the user an overall or specific idea of these museums’ respective activities, research projects and collections.

With the affiliation of the Museo del Prado, there are now more than 30, mainly US, museums involved in this project including institutions of the stature of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, the Frick Collection and the Museum of Modern Art. The only three European institutions to be involved at the present time are the Van Gogh Museum and the Boijmans Museum, both in Holland, and the Museo del Prado.

Other Museo del Prado initiatives on the Internet

With the aim of providing a context for the Prado’s efforts over the past few years to open up new means of promoting and disseminating its collections via internet, set out below are general statistics that show the continuous and ongoing growth in users of the Museum’s various channels on the World Wide Web.

Website – 4,335,295 visits to the Museum’s institutional website in 2010 (Source: Awstats). Visits in 2009: 3,887,150; visits in 2008: 2,415,748.

Facebook – More than 137,209 followers of the Museum’s page on Facebook, www.facebook.com/museonacionaldelprado, in which the Prado communicates almost exclusively in Spanish. This figure is the highest for a Spanish cultural institution on Facebook and the third highest among European museum pages on Facebook, only less than the number of followers of the Louvre and the Tate (joint page of the four Tate museums: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives), which communicate their contents in English. In addition, the number of followers of the Prado on Facebook is comparable to or even higher than the majority of US museums apart from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA, both of which have considerably more followers.

Twitter - 102, 695 followers on the Museum’s Twitter page, www.twitter.com/museodelprado, in which the Prado communicates in Spanish and quite frequently in English. This figure is notably higher than those for other comparable European museums apart from the four Tate institutions that lead the European ranking of museums on Twitter with joint contents that cover all of its four museums (Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives).

YouTube - 86,895 video reproductions on the Museum’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/museodelprado, in which the Prado offers all its videos with original sound and subtitles in Spanish and English. The total number of reproductions of the Museum’s YouTube channel, which is the highest among comparable Spanish cultural institutions even though it was only launched as a public access channel a year ago (31 September 2010), again confirms the real interest generated by the Museum’s audio-visual productions specifically created for online diffusion.
The statistics on the Museo del Prado on Facebook and Twitter and total reproductions of videos on its YouTube channel date up to 24 October 2011.

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