Rodin’s Thinker 3D Scan Access Effort

June 24, 2019

For two years I’ve been trying to gain access to 3D scans of Rodin’s Thinker, which is a work in the public domain. My inquiries with the Baltimore Museum of Art revealed careless access policies and unresponsive decision makers there, and lead me to a confrontation with the Rodin Museum in Paris over its self-serving copyfraud.

In November, 2018 I sent a formal demand to the Rodin Museum for access to all its 3D scans, citing French freedom of information laws. When they refused to comply, I brought the matter before the French government.

On June 21, 2019 the government announced its first-of-its-kind opinion, in my favor; 3D scans produced by French national museums are administrative documents subject to public disclosure under freedom of information laws. The Rodin Museum is required by law to give the public access to its 3D scans of Rodin’s works. This development will influence every national museum in France, inform policies at institutions around the world, and have interesting effects on the art market.

My complete correspondence with The Baltimore Museum of Art and Musée Rodin, including the government’s opinion and additional resources, is collected here:
20190911 Cosmo Wenman, Rodin’s Thinker 3D Scan Access Effort
(I’ll update this document with additional correspondence as it occurs.)

Please contact me for original copies of any of the documents included above, or for related images to accompany any stories.

– Cosmo


NextINpact: Le scan 3D du Penseur de Rodin est un document administratif communicable (6/24/2019) [Download PDF of English translation]