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NEWSNIGHT, CNN, New York, USA, March 24, 2004 : <http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS>


COLLINS: Here at NEWSNIGHT, we're not shy about our love affair with still photographs. The photographers we feature from time to time in segment seven share our passion for the medium. That much goes without saying, which brings us to Tito Dupret. He was born in Belgium, but considers himself a citizen of the world and plans on spending the next 20 years on one single project, an enormous project that will take him around the globe. The goal is to photograph every World Heritage site in the world and then turn each one into a virtual reality.

We met him last fall when he was working on the World Monuments Fund in New York, where his work is now on exhibit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TITO DUPRET, PHOTOGRAPHER: The name is the World Heritage Tour. It's just to go from one World Heritage site to another and to cover it with panoramic pictures, which is virtual reality. We don't have timeline. It's interactive.

You can see above. You can see down. But you decide it. The idea of the project is to raise awareness about the World Heritage sites are particular sites because they are listed by UNESCO.

It's beginning to be very exciting. Wow.

By visiting all these places, you are more aware how it is. It's a virtual tour around the world that could makes you more happy about the world you are in.

First is to make 360 with 10 pictures. Now I put the camera 50 degrees down or up.

In the World Heritage list, there are 754 sites in 128 countries. I've covered 52 of them in China, Southeast Asia, and one in Egypt. I've been in the one closed town in the Valley of the Kings. It was opened to me thanks to the Egyptian government. And I've been there for two days alone in the town. And that was the most emotional shooting session in my life.

When you get inside a World Heritage site, you get back to peace. You get back to calm. It's a place where you can just be yourself in the middle of what came out from nature or from humanity.

This picture was made in Angkor Wat, which is the main temple in Angkor in Cambodia. It was discovered in the middle of the jungle. A lot of the site is still standing up thanks to the roots of the tree that were growing on the walls. And because of its size and because of its magnificent preservation, you can still see the statues as they were in some parts of them.

The magic of this medium, virtual reality movie, is that you can really be on the border of something. I always liked to work very near one part of the image and to open on the other part, to have a wider view of the space. You can almost feel the texture of the wall.

This is the 53rd for this project. You know, it's always something -- well, it's new. It's new. You want to understand why it's there.

The whole idea of World Heritage is, of course, to be aware of what's our beauty on this Earth and that culture is our link for us all together.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: Our Lady of Liberty tonight.

Still ahead on NEWSNIGHT, we'll recap our top story and look ahead to tomorrow.

On CNN, this is NEWSNIGHT.

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