In 2010 started Wiki Loves Monuments in the Netherlands as photo contest, as successor to Wiki Loves Art in the Netherlands, with the goal to let people participate in making our cultural heritage visible for the public. This was a success and a year later we did it again in 18 European countries at the same time. In 2012 we went global with the contest held in 35 countries.
The 2011 edition was 168,208 entries and more than 5000 people participating, recognized as the largest photography competition in the world by the Guinness World Records. In 2012 this record was broken with the 2012 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments and with 353,768 entries it is now recognized as the largest photography competition in the world by Guinness World Records.
Wikipedia has as goal to collect the knowledge of mankind, but also due language difficulties it is hard to collect all the knowledge from countries with much people who do not know a lingua franca language. Smaller languages have it more difficult in projects like Wiki Loves Monuments, but also with other outreach projects. The worldwide Wikimedia movement should reach out to the smaller languages in our world, both to the users active there as to GLAM institutions. In this way we are better able to document the heritage of the whole world. Every country, language and culture has a history with monuments, buildings and objects that tell something about their origin, history and who they are. It tells is where we came from.
At Wikimania 2015 in Mexico City the international awards ceremony of Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 was held on 17 July. There the winners of the contest received their prizes for their winning photos.
In the days before and after, the photos formed an exhibition for the attendees of the conference.
The preparations of the 2015 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments have started, locally and international. With the contest we try to have cumulatively more photos available of the world's cultural heritage.
In September 2014 Wiki Loves Monuments was organised in Nepal for the second time to capture the cultural heritage of this country. In April 2015 an earthquake struck Nepal and many cultural heritage monuments were destroyed. Thanks to organisers and photographers of Wiki Loves Monuments, many of these monuments still survive in our collective memory on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. See the list of monuments in Nepal on Wikipedia or the photos of cultural heritage monuments on Commons. Let's make more monuments visible for the world wide public and save the monuments visually for future generations.