Digitalisation of cultural heritage starts in Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić and President of SASA Vladimir Kostić have signed the protocol on cooperation, early today, which envisages the establishment of the Audiovisual archive of SASA with the aim to digitalise the archive material and SASA Centre for protection of privacy and safety in the digital space.

The plan is to have joint activities in the field of improving and developing the information and communication infrastructure in science and art in Serbia, as sad after signing the documents.

Mr Kostič has announced that in the first half of the year the first phase of forming the Audio-visual Archive and SASA Digitalisation Centre should be completed.

“The idea is to make that centre, together with other centres, become a body which will be a national basis for digitalisation of scientific, cultural, artistic and historical heritage”, says Mr Kostić.

As he has explained, the archive and legacy of huge importance must not be left to improper preservation, “so digitalisation of our memorials has no alternatives”.

He says that the archive will have a separate department in Sremski Karlovci and that the talks with Serbian Orthodox Church are in progress, which has the largest number of documents, in order to have the fastest and most competent digitalisation.

“We want to preserve the documents using that centre which will be located on the opposite side of the road to the SASA, through the agreements we have with the University of Belgrade, certain museums, archives of Serbia and Yugoslavia, SOC, and others. So that is won’t be a dowry of the SASA, but a national digitalisation centre everyone will take care of”, emphasised Mr Kostić.

Mr Kostić says that when it comes to the establishing the Centre for Privacy Protection in the digitalisation era, the issue of privacy is of key importance for new technologies and databases.

He says that the SASA Institute for Mathematics will work on that, gathering people from various field, which will be significant for the government and the society.

Mr Ljajić expressed his belief that this is the beginning of a process in which the SASA should have a key role. He reminded that we live in the time of the fourth industrial i.e. technological revolution.

“The time we are living is intolerant to the average, especially the time which will come, and knowledge and innovations are key to the progress of every society. This is where we see the leading role of the SASA and the academic society in Serbia”, says Mr Ljajić.

He has stated that the Audio-visual Archive is very significant for the preservation of the cultural heritage which is in a bad condition since is not preserved in proper conditions, and that so far there have been sporadic and elemental tries to digitalise it and preserve it properly.

This is why it is important to have a central place, adds Mr Ljajić, where the SASA material will be digitalised and there various data of archives and various intuitions will be stored.

“If we succeed in collecting the entire historical material of Serbia from all the archives in the country in paper sheets next to each other, we would make a line of paper sheets from Belgrade to Subotica 200 km long”, says he, adding that the material in perspective cannot be preserved if not digitalised.

Mr Ljajić underlines that not everything can be digitalised, but a huge success would be when 15 per cent of that material will be digitalised, which is a work requiring time, but the work of the primary state interest.

When it comes to privacy protection, Mr Ljajić has said that establishing the SASA Centre is important for the citizens since our data are frequently exposed to the public and can be misused.

He adds that 80 per cent of the companies in the world have been exposed to some kind of cyber-attacks and that the estimated damage suffered by the global economy because of that is up to 400 billion euros.

“This centre will have a key role, where we will develop all types of activities”, he says, adding that it will be a hub of development in the cyber space.

He has announced that the Ministry and the SASA will gather all those who can contribute to the digitalisation of the cultural heritage and protection in the digital space.