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Kyoto International Culture Foundation Selects HP to Preserve 800-year-old National Treasures

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 1, 2006

HP and the Kyoto International Culture Foundation today announced a program to preserve a critical element of Japan's heritage through the digital replication of fine art from 3,500 temples and shrines, beginning with artwork created between the 13th and 17th centuries.

The original paintings have been deteriorating due to the effects of time, climate and air pollution and were in danger of being lost forever.

The foundation chose HP for the Kyoto Digital Archive Project, initiated in 2000, because of the company's ability to provide a complete fine art replication solution, including very high-quality large-format printers and powerful IT resources for long-term, secure storage.

The first digitally created prints are being unveiled at special preview events in New York City and during the annual ARTExpo tradeshow in New York's Jacob K. Javits Center, March 2 - 6.

"HP is honored to be working on such a historically significant program with the Kyoto International Culture Foundation," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "The technology we've developed enables us to produce reproductions with a depth of detail and color that makes them almost indistinguishable from the originals."

The new digital reproductions will be displayed in place of the originals at the Kyoto shrines while the original artwork will be moved to a more secure and controlled environment for preservation.

Three of the Kyoto images - rarely seen outside of Japan - will be displayed at the New York events:

  • "The Five Great Guardian Gods of Buddhism" from the Daigo-ji Temple, classified as a national treasure in Japan;

  • "Tigers," including "Tiger Drinking Water," by Tanyu Kano from the Nanzenji Temple, an important cultural property in Japan;

  • "Landscape of Katata" by Tosa Mitsunobu from the Zuihouin House, Daitokuji Temple.

These are the first reproductions to be produced as part of a multi-year program that will demonstrate how HP technology is aiding in the preservation of the world's art masterpieces.

By collaborating with HP, the Kyoto International Culture Foundation will be able to use the fine art reproductions to share their rich cultural heritage with the approximately 40 million visitors who travel to this UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site every year. A major center of Japanese culture, Kyoto is home to a third of the country's national treasures.

The complex process of replicating and storing intricate artwork leverages HP's unique capacity to provide a complete solution featuring PCs, servers, storage devices, printers, color management technologies and managed services.

Among the many HP products used for the project are the HP xw4300 Workstation, the HP Compaq nx7200 Notebook, the HP mp2210 Digital Projector, the HP Officejet 6210 All-in-One printer, the ProCurve Networking by HP Switch 2724, the HP ProLiant ML100 server and - most importantly - the HP Designjet 5500 UV 60-inch large-format printer with HP 83 UV ink supplies.

To maintain the look and feel of the original artwork, the printing process features Japanese Washi paper. A Japanese artist using traditional techniques completes the replication process with a gold leaf application. The end result is a fine art replica that withstands the wear and tear of urban pollution, weather and a host of other causes of deterioration, while allowing the safe preservation of the originals.

"We are committed to the protection of the precious historical and cultural heritage of Kyoto through the digital archive program," said Tatsushi Kani, president, Kyoto International Culture Foundation. "After working with HP and experiencing firsthand their dedication to our vision, we knew we had found the right partner with which we could not only entrust our country's ancient fine art, but also share it with the world."

More information on this project and the technical details of the preservation techniques and HP products used is available in an online press kit at http://www.hp.com/go/kyotoart.

About the Kyoto International Culture Foundation

The Kyoto International Culture Foundation supports training, research and educational activities that aim to contribute to the understanding and development of international culture to promote international exchanges in the regional community of Kyoto. The foundation is also committed to digital archiving in order to preserve precious cultural and historical icons of the Kyoto region.

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2006, HP revenue totaled $87.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.


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