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Headquarters News

Sep 26, 2006


Osaka, Japan, September 26, 2006 - Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, is backing OUR PLACE - The World's Heritage, a project that will create the largest ever photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The photographs will be published under the OUR PLACE brand in an initial series of 10 books which will be released over the next 5 years.

A team of international photographers will cover the sites from their physical and geographical aspects, as well as documenting the human presence and interaction that helps make them so important to mankind. An interactive website will be launched later next year, when sufficient images are available. As well as a selection of site photographs, this site,, will feature background information relevant to the sites' history and values.

The Panasonic supported project will eventually have an international team of 20 photographers, who will be photographing a large number of the 830 World Heritage Sites situated in 138 countries around the globe. The team will exclusively use the Panasonic Lumix range of digital cameras, including the newly launched Digital SLR, DMC-L1.

Mamoru Yoshida, managing director of Digital Still Camera Business Unit in Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd, believes that this is an important opportunity for the company: "Panasonic is keen to contribute to photographic culture, and helping promote and protect the important UNESCO World Heritage sites through the Our Place Project makes this a project with which Panasonic is proud to be involved. Through this project, we would like to change peoples' minds, both about the value of World Heritage, and about Panasonic's strong commitment to photographic culture. Our vision for LUMIX is to create a new photo culture in the digital era."

UNESCO's World Heritage Centre has announced a partnership between UNESCO and Our Place Publishing, a New Zealand Publishing Company, which will manage the project.

"Under this new partnership, World Heritage sites, and the often extraordinary human stories linked to them, will become better known to all. Increased awareness, knowledge and appreciation will also lead to better protection for these remarkable places, many of which are extremely fragile," says Francesco Bandarin, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

World Heritage sites are selected for inclusion on the site list if they are judged by the World Heritage Committee to be of "outstanding universal value" and of immense importance to the World for their cultural and natural significance.

Part of the profits from the publications will go back to a soon to be established fund which will work to educate the public on World Heritage issues and could eventually help with the maintenance of some of the more endangered World Heritage sites themselves.

The principals behind the New Zealand company, Our Place Publishing Ltd, are film and documentary maker, photographer and former Television Executive, Geoff Steven, and Paul Bateman of David Bateman Ltd, a New Zealand publishing company which specialises in large co-productions with international publishing partners.

"As a photographer myself, it is a great opportunity as well as a creative challenge, to be able to shoot some of the world's most important locations, and present them to a wide global audience through the OUR PLACE books and website. Panasonic's input has been very beneficial for the project and it is great to be able to supply the latest Lumix cameras to the professional photographers' world wide that are now joining the OUR PLACE team" says Geoff Steven.

Yoshida from Panasonic is pleased with the results so far: "We are now starting to see the first photographs from the OUR PLACE photographers, and it will be a very rewarding task to present them and the many more that will be taken over the next years, to the international marketplace. We will be promoting both the World Heritage's and Panasonic's commitment to photographing it."

Contact........Panasonic Akira Kadota, International PR
Tel: 03-3578-1237
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205
Contact........Our Place Publishing

Additional information is available at the following web sites:

Our Place Publishing

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