This whitepaper from Europeana outlines the need for open metadata at heritage institutions. During a survey, the Rijksmuseum discovered 10,000 copies of Vermeer’s famous ‘The Milkmaid’ - and found that most of them were poor yellowish reproductions.
Consequently, people visiting the museum didn’t believe the postcard image was the real painting. This triggered the museum to put high resolution images of their collections with open metadata on the web.
The Problem of the Yellow Milkmaid by Europeana is licensed under CC BY SA.