The international jury for Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 announced the 15 winning photographs from the world’s largest photo contest, which ran from September 1 to September 30. More than 15,000 photographers uploaded more than 350,000 freely licensed photographs of historic buildings, monuments and cultural heritage sites in 35 countries to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other free-knowledge projects.
The grand-prize winning photograph, above, depicts Safdarjung’s Tomb and marble mausoleum in New Delhi, India, and was taken by Pranav Singh. The tomb was built in 1754 and is an example of Mughal architecture. It was a tribute to the prime minister for Muhammad Shah, the Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748. As noted in the jury report, “With gravity and a perfect sense for the angle of view and light, this picture presents the object – the architecture and light forming a stage for the tomb, focusing on the details of the stone carving.”
Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 more than doubled the photo total from 2011, when 5,000 photographers from 18 European countries uploaded 168,208 photos. In the 2012 contest, volunteer Wikipedians in 35 countries organized the contest at the national level, with the 324 winning photos from national contests considered by an international jury for the top prize. The grand prize is a trip to Hong Kong for a photo tour as part of the Wikimania 2013 conference. The top 13 photos will be displayed in a travelling international exhibition, and will be showcased in a special Wiki Loves Monuments calendar for 2013.
“We have a beautiful selection of images representing the world’s heritage,” said Lodewijk Gelauff, one of the international coordinators of the contest. “I’m so proud of the hundreds of volunteer Wikipedians who helped organize the contest in their countries and around the world. Not only do we have hundreds of thousands of free images that anyone can use, but we also have a great set of heritage lists on Wikipedia, which give an overview of more than 1 million monuments globally.”
He added, “That leaves plenty of unphotographed monuments for next year!”
Other top photographs
The other finalists represent countries from four continents, including South America, North America, Asia and Europe.
- 2nd Place – Aqueduct of Segovia in Segovia, Castilla y León, Spain. Photographer: David Corral Gadea. The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most significant and best-preserved monuments left by the Romans on the Iberian Peninsula.
- 3rd Place – Ifugao Rice Terraces in Batad, Ifugao, Philippines. Photographer: Captaincid. Built over 2,000 years ago, the Rice Terraces of Batad make up one of the four clusters of rice terraces in Ifugao province that are identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 4th Place – Château de Maintenon in Eure-et-Loir, France. Photographer: Selbymay. The château, developed from the original castle, is situated in the commune of Maintenon in the Eure-et-Loir region of France. It is best known as being the private residence of the second spouse of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon.
- 5th Place – Teatro Comunale di Ferrara in Ferrara, Italy. Photographer: Andrea Parisi. The Rotonda Foschini, the internal court of the Teatro Comunale (”city theatre”), in Ferrara was built at the end of the 18th century.
Be sure to read the full jury report for more information on the judges and the rationale for the picks, including information about the top 42 photos. You can also read all of our coverage of the national winners here. For more information about the international contest go to http://www.wikilovesmonuments.org and dig into the detailed statistics at http://toolserver.org/~emijrp/wlm/stats.php.
Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who helped organize this year’s contest!
Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager