US museum puts Asian art treasures online

WASHINGTON (Agence France-Presse) - Artistic treasures from Asia's past have found a place online after the Freer and Sackler galleries in Washington released its entire 40,000-piece collection on the Internet.

The museum is the first in the Smithsonian network of museums to digitize and release its entire collection, which also includes a large number of works by the American painter James Whistler.

The project enables "anyone to explore and create with the collections, from anywhere in the world," the galleries said in a statement.

Most of the works have never been seen by the public, and more than 90 per cent carry no copyright restrictions for non-commercial use, it said.