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Google links up with Belgian 'paper Internet'

Kioskea on Tuesday March 13, 2012 12:11:56 PM


Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo presents the new partnership of Google and Mundaneum

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo delivers a speech during a press conference in Brussels as he presents the new partnership of Google and Mundaneum, the Records Centre of the Belgian French Community.

Google linked up Tuesday with Belgian museum, the Mundaneum, which was set up as a 19th-century paper equivalent of the US Internet search giant.

"We want to honour and promote the important European pioneers of computing and the Internet," said Google Belgium's chief Thierry Geerts. "For Google, this mission sounds eerily and pleasantly familiar."

Google is to partner an upcoming exhibition on the Mundaneum, titled "Knowledge One Click Away", at Mundaneum headquarters in Mons.

More than a century before the creation of the web, Belgians Paul Otlet, the 1913 Nobel peace laureate, and Henri La Fontaine envisaged a paper archival system of the world's information and built a giant documentation centre called Mundaneum.

Aiming to preserve peace by assembling knowledge and making it accessible, the Mundaneum grew to 16 million cards after the pair invented the modern library Universal Decimal classification system.

World War II and the death of both founders slowed the project but archives have been kept and the Mundaneum turned into an international archives centre.

The project comes as the European Commission investigates complaints against Google for abusing its dominant position to eliminate any competition.

© 2012 AFP

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