When I went to Paris in high school, we went to the Louvre. I say went to, not went inside. Taking a look at the line to get in, which meant a wait of several hours, and I decided that my time would be better spent elsewhere. So I believe, if memory serves, that I walked around the city, found a place to have lunch, and took in the actual feel of Paris, rather than waiting in line to walk past the Mona Lisa and not take any pictures of it. I don’t regret it, because my terrible little 1998 point-and-shoot camera wouldn’t do anything to capture the majesty of a beautiful classic painting, but Google can pick up that mantle and run with it.
Google is using a gigapixel camera called Art Cam to scan and upload paintings. These aren’t just high resolution pictures; these are pictures so high resolution that you can see individual brush strokes, the pinpoint dots of pointilism paintings, and the very ridges where paint was applied heavier or lighter. This robotic camera does all of that automatically, making life a lot easier for art snobs and allowing people to view art’s biggest hits from the privacy of their web browser.
You can find the 1200 paintings at Google Cultural Institute.