Coronavirus News Asia

Stroll around the virtual world of culture

You don’t have to queue and you don’t end up with aching feet. Online guided tours, podcasts and workshops look certain to be virtual hits.

Forced to closed because of coronavirus, European museums have been quick to reach out to audiences in imaginative ways during an almost continent-wide lockdown.

Often free, these new digital strands also make it possible to “maintain a bond” with the regulars, according to the Wellcome Collection, so people do not “forget us.”

The London museum hopes, like others, that internet users will become actual rather than virtual visitors when the life returns to normal.

Versailles from the Sun King’s bed | Paris

Since the start of outbreak, visits to the Paris Louvre’s website have exploded, going from 40,000 to 400,000 visits per day. There are filmed conferences, podcasts and guided tours carried out by a YouTuber. 

Elsewhere in the French capital, there is “an opportunity to discover” the Palace of Versailles “differently,” thanks to a virtual reality game which offers new viewing angles, such as from the stage of the Royal Opera or in the bed of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

Virtual walks in the woods | London

The Tate in London offers artistic activities to children confined indoors during the virus, including learning to weave like Anni Albers or bond with Matisse, via the “Tate Kids” website. Traffic to the website has increased by 137% in the weeks since the United Kingdom was placed on lockdown in March. In north London, the Wellcome collection has taken inspiration from the virus by highlighting collections devoted to the development of medicine. 

“People are interested in content that reflects our current concerns – articles on the Spanish Flu and toilet paper have been popular. It’s helping us maintain an engagement with our existing audiences,” Danny Birchall, the digital content manager at Wellcome, said. 

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