image thumb291 Europeana – European Digital Library Raided by the French

Europeana, Europe’s competitor to Google that was launched yesterday and immediately afterwards crashed due to huge surge in traffic, is massively dominated by French culture and literature. According to NY Times, when the site got operational yesterday more than half of the two million users came from France, but there is more to it:

So comprehensive is France’s cultural dominance over this cyberspace outpost that other countries are having their own history written for them — in French, of course.

“I find the figures extraordinary,” said Viviane Reding, the European commissioner responsible for the project. “France has half the content — the collapse of the Berlin Wall is illustrated with a French TV documentary.”

Material is free of copyright so it can be downloaded for blogs, research or schoolwork by anyone with an Internet connection.

Already, the images online include the Magna Carta from Britain, the Vermeer painting “Girl With a Pearl Earring” from the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague and a copy of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

But only 1 percent of the content has information about Germany, 1.4 percent about Spain and only 10 percent about Britain.

Since the site is still down, you could view the video of the Digital Library here to get a taste of what it looks like