Magasins Généraux Pantin from Paris has been a place for most street artists from all over the capital and beyond. Originally an embodiment of French industry, the building closed at the turn of the century, only to be reimagined as “Graffiti Général,” a five-floor monument to graffiti. The building is now scheduled for refurbishment, although the artwork done so far inside the building will not quite be lost just yet.
There been an effort to preserve the works of art that lie within, although the demolition and construction of a new office building is imminent. However, the newly entitled tenant, namely an agency named BETC, has created a 3D model of the building, and incorporated over 5,200 high-resolution photos of the art that covers it.
It can be viewed from a website set up by BETC, where you can walk a virtual road full of graffiti artwork, just like you do with street view in Google Maps. There’s also a graffiti mode where you can add you own piece to the building’s walls. It’s an interesting concept, that you can “preserve” something tangible with a purely digital copy. For those interested in viewing this modern virtual gallery, BETC’s website can be found at the following address.