The great scavenger hunt of Pere and Enric

Behind Wiki Loves Monuments there are many interesting stories, large or small they are all great. I am impressed by the enthusiasm shown by somebody biking to a remote monument for taking a photo with the purpose of sharing his local heritage with the world. But now I want to focus on the story of the most active participants. Pere and Enric are the leading global participants, who have contributed by large with more photos after 15 days from the start of the edition Wiki Loves Monuments 2012.

This story begins in September 2011 when they participated with about 1,000 photos each. The first photo Enric submitted to Wikimedia Commons was a monument thanks to the energy of Pere. He said he was not interested in the contest, he is not a competitive person at all, but he wanted to help to complete lists. Gradually they were excited,

Enric: “I went out to take two or three photos and I go back home with eighty.”

And they coordinate the monuments hunting.

Enric: “Knocking off I have taken three where you don’t need to go.”

Pere: “Biking up there in hard work, I was thinking that I was getting tired in vain, that you should have gone before and I would have taken more advantage turning downwards.”

Once the competition were over, they felt the desire to continue, although they qualified it as a hangover.

For this year edition, we proposed an ambitious expantion of lists of monuments including the entire inventory of architectural sites, not only those with the highest level of protection. Pere and Enric, with others, have participated actively reviewing, identifying and correcting the inventory, a crowdsourcing work valued by the local office of cultural heritage. It was a journey through history and art, checking which sections of a net of aqueducts are Roman or medieval, looking Roman city maps to understand the location of some sites, reading administrative documents to find out where is a missing Art Nouveau sculpture or inspecting a cemetery to find coordinates of an outstanding tomb. Indiana Jones would have loved this treasure hunt.

For example, in the inventory is registered a modernist dragon supposedly located in the corner of an old confectioner’s. Enric visited the site and found no sign of any dragon or confectioner’s. He consulted a local historian (“anyone who seeks this dragon can not find it”) and he informed him that it is on display in the local museum. But the historian was also stimulated by curiosity and checking further he found that some years ago it was taken away to restore it without any schedule on sight. We found only historic pictures and it was not possible to take any photo, but the information is equally valuable.

Cementiri, monument a les Víctimes de la Guerra (I)

Photo by Enfo

Another item in the inventory is a memorial to the fallen that is listed as demolished and missing. Despite being officially missing it has been photographed as some remains were found in the cemetery, an amazing new location. The photo will not win any award, but it is very valuable.

During these fieldworks checking monuments, Pere and Enric continued taking photos nonstop. Any weekend, trip or holiday were an opportunity to complete their collection of captured treasures. Pere explains how you can take any opportunity to find a monument, even in the daily journey to work: you just have to look around with interest with a camera in hand.

At 00:01 am on September 1, Pere submitted his first photo for this new edition, and from the first minute he is at the top of the most active participants. He feared he would not have enough time in a month to upload all his files.

Pere: “At what exact time begins and ends September? I would like to extend the month as much as possible because I feel time is scarce.”

Enric: “I have so many photos that two months would not be enough time for me. The first minute will be so requested as the first ad in new year.”

In the first days, Enric was collapsed, until Pere recommended him to use a tool for large uploads.

Pere: “Wow… six hundred photos at one go. I see you have learned quickly.”

In fact, both have been long time collaborating. Their purpose is not to compete and they say that they will not win anything, but it worths doing it.

Pere: “We are sicks participating in a competition that we will not win and, moreover, we are spreading the sickness”

Enric: “I do large walks only to get a half ruined old manor because it worths having a graphic testimony, I am not doing it because it could have any option to get any award.”

Although one might expect it, given their enthusiasm, their active participation has been a surprise for organizers. My congratulations for the results and my gratitude for the great task spreading cultural heritage.

PS. Note that quotations are not literal, but they summarize talk pages in Wikipedia. Pere López, user Pere prlpz, loves biking in the city. Enric Fontvila, user Enfo, loves walking and he complains missing sites away from public transport. Both love monuments.

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  • Axel Pettersson  On 18 Setembre 2012 at 23:28 CEST

    Great story and wonderful to hear about their commitment. There should be a Pere and an Emric in every wikilovesmonuments!

  • vriullop  On 19 Setembre 2012 at 16:17 CEST

    Thanks, Axel. Pere and Enric are the most notable by their amount of submisions but there are also other people collaborating. The key is to engage Wikipedians as they will help to spread it. As Liam Wyatt said, Wikipedians are intellectually promiscous, you only have to give them a motivation.


  • By Fler foton än 2011 | Wiki Loves Monuments Sverige on 21 Setembre 2012 at 9:42 CEST

    […] Pere Lopez, som har laddat upp över 6 700 bilder till den spanska tävlingen, är det elva personer till som […]

  • […] Pere Lopez, som har laddat upp över 6 700 bilder till den spanska tävlingen, är det elva personer till som […]

  • […] Àlex Hinojo from Europeana led the contest in Barcelona and was a member of the local jury. He says, ‘Barcelona is a great city for photographing public art: the nice weather provides great lighting to artworks. We also have an interesting mix of classical and contemporary sculptures all around the city and the freedom of panorama law lets us take pictures of works by contemporary and living artists. We are also proud of having two really enthusiastic users, Pere and Enric, who together took more than 5,000 pictures, almost completing the whole Barcelona public art map.’ You can read more about Pere and Enric’s work in a blog about last year’s competition. […]

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