Discover the Art of the World from Your Living Room!

Virtual Museum Tours Around the World

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Noor Ali '23, Writer

With the current stay at home orders from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, you may be finding yourself at home with nothing to do. Luckily, many tourist attractions across the globe, including famous museums, are offering free online tours and other ways to engage virtually.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET):
The MET offers a digital exhibition of 6 of their most iconic spaces: Great Hall, The MET Cloisters, The Temple of Dendur, The MET Bruer, The Charles Engelhard Court, and Arms and Armor Galleries. The collective is titled The MET 360° Project. Named after its spherical 360° technology, the 6 short videos allow viewers to see the MET like never before. Not only can the spaces be viewed completely empty, but each video is a short tour of an exhibit from both a birds-eye view and an eye-level walking tour. While each tour is accompanied by a short description of the space that offers some historical context, the exhibit relies on its visuals rather than a reading-heavy approach. Viewers have the autonomy to simply see the exhibit or read more about its history if that interests them. Thus, it is similar to an in-person experience where you can choose to simply view an exhibit or combine that with background and historical reading. However, if you prefer to learn the history of an art piece or exhibit, this may not be the best digital tour for you. Because it only offers a short description of the space rather than details on its individual pieces, the viewer does not learn much about each space. For most of its viewers, The MET 360° Project is the perfect combination of beautiful visuals and rich history.

The Vatican Museums:
The Vatican showcases virtual tours of many of its most popular rooms such as the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms. Each space can be navigated by using arrows that control the direction and angle of your view, making the system easy to navigate without instructions. The viewer can also maximize or minimize the space in order to look at the details of the pieces. The tours do not come with any description or narration, meaning they are purely visual. While the beauty of each exhibit is still clearly conveyed, the tour does not provide any history of the spaces. Many of the rooms have rich historical backgrounds that are overlooked in this tour. Overall, the tours do not replicate the in-person experience effectively. While it does provide a 360° view, the Vatican missed the mark when it came to explaining the history of the art.
Sistine Chapel: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/tour-virtuale.html
Raphael’s Rooms:
http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/stanze-di-raffaello/tour-virtuale.html

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.3.html

The Dalì theatre-museum:
The Dalì Theatre Museum in Spain is devoted to the artwork of Salvador Dalì, a pioneer of innovative art in the 20th century whose own casket is buried in the crypt beneath the stage of the museum. The tour offers 360° views of each exhibit so that the viewer can navigate around the rooms through a virtual system. Many of the rooms feature Dali’s art along with classic Spanish architecture. The experience not only showcases Salvador Dalì’s pieces but also Spanish history. Along with the virtual visual tour, there are areas to click that zoom in and provide information about the art pieces and architectural elements in each room. The viewer then is able to choose if they would like to learn about the pieces that intrigue them. This museum offers the best experience of all the tours. The visuals are beautiful and are able to be explored just like an in-person experience.