Long night at the digital museum

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Europeana, the continent’s online cultural library, attracted so much attention on its debut Nov. 20 — 10 million hits an hour, 3 million simultaneously — that the website crashed and won’t be back until mid-December, according to a notice on the nonfunctioning site. Technical second-guessers told PCWorld.com that traffic was three times the expected level and planners failed to buy adequate hardware load balancers. The European Commission said 52 percent of the digitized cultural objects were contributed by France, 10 percent each from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and tiny shares from the other member states. For a preview, click the video starring Descartes, Darwin, Beethoven and Callas and featuring Little Kim.