If you think your chances of an Easter trip to Paris to see the treasures of the Louvre have been scuppered by the coronavirus lockdown, you’re wrong.
Similarly, if you’ve always wanted to visit the world-famous Smithsonian in Washington but have never found the time, well, now you can… and you won’t have to break any quarantine restrictions to do so.
Because a steadily increasing number of cultural institutions and zoos around the world are allowing millions of visitors though their ‘doors’ thanks to the wonder of virtual reality.
Over the years, more than a thousand museums have become part of the VR revolution, allowing at least part of their vast collections to become accessible online, with the same technology which powers Google Street View allowing you to roam freely among the exhibits.
Of course, not all offer the 360-degree access – it’s a time-consuming, expensive process to film all the angles – but many do offer the panoramic-style virtual tours with the Google Arts & Culture portal giving you the chance to enlarge and examine the minutest details in high resolution with information on each item, which is generally in English.
So, where can you go?
Let’s start with the British Museum, whose objects span some two million years from the dawn of human culture to the present day. Their tour offers 360 views of thousands of artefacts as they appear in the halls of the museum and include curators’ notes and a description of how they were acquired.
What about a quick trip across the Atlantic to the MoMA – the Museum of Modern Art – in New York, or the Smithsonian in Washington? Other world-famous museums to sign up for the Google Arts & Culture portal include the Guggenheim (New York), Uffizi Gallery (Florence), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), the Getty (Los Angeles), the Van Gogh (Amsterdam) and the Louvre, which may not have the same number of exhibits as others but you do get a virtual tour around the grounds where impressive statues stand impassively.
And self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors – in the virtual realm, the world is very much in the palm of your hand or, the very least, on your laptop.
Many zoos now offer live webcam footage of their animals, particularly at feeding time, or you can surround yourself in The Great Outdoors, seeing the natural wonders and tramping the trails of the Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks in the US.
And while Covid-19 has managed to curtail travel to the Far East, nothing can stop you taking a trek along the Great Wall of China.
But for a truly out-of-this-world experience this takes some beating. For the really adventurous, NASA and Google have joined forces to offer a tour of a 3D replica of the Martian surface, as recorded by the Curiosity rover, which is currently being developed.
The Google Arts and Culture portal is at artsandculture.google.com while you will be able to take the Mars tour on nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/mars/marsview
Connect with us
View by date
The property market is thriving, however, with current restrictions, buyers and sellers are experiencing delays to reach exchange and completion. While the property market is increasingly busy, and a record number of sales are agreed, with some delays in the local searches and mortgage applications, families are finding that reaching exchange and completion isn’t …Read more...
Houses that are marketed at the advised initial asking price are more likely to sell faster than those that need to be reduced… The Stamp Duty Holiday ends in six months, on the 31st March 2021, and if you’re hoping to move before the stamp duty deadline, we’d like to share some brilliant, eye-opening advice …Read more...
Six months after announcing the original Lockdown, Boris Johnson announced new restrictions to curb a second lockdown… Last night, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced new restrictions which will last a further six-months and has warned the public to follow them to avoid a second national lockdown. The new restrictions include a 10pm enforced …Read more...
With the Stamp Duty Holiday due to end in March, and the time it’s taking for a purchase to go through, get your property market ready today! When it comes to marketing your property, the first thing buyers look at are the photos. Good photos of your property can have a huge impact on …Read more...
It’s time to hit the hedgerows and roadsides for nature’s free feast We are heading into the season of mellow fruitfulness. It may not seem it in this crazy year, but in what seems like a bat of an eye, we are already into September, a month where we traditionally hang on to summer …Read more...