Around the world in virtual ways

The COVID-19 outbreak has left many indoor-bound and boredom struck. But not Harsh Vardhan, who has been spending his time exploring the artwork at Uffizi Gallery in Italy.

Published: 05th April 2020 11:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2020 05:42 AM   |  A+A-

Pic courtesy: Jan Kees Steenman/ Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The COVID-19 outbreak has left many indoor-bound and boredom struck. But not Harsh Vardhan, who has been spending his time exploring the artwork at Uffizi Gallery in Italy. Welcome to travel in times of quarantine. “I just have to log into sites such as Google Arts and Culture or check an individual museum’s website to take a virtual tour.

Most of these are also 3D-enabled,” explains the 41-year-old business professional, who had planned to visit Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, in March. Initially disappointed, the art and travel aficionado realised virtual tours were still an option. So far, Vardhan has ‘visited’ the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, beside the Uffizi Gallery, and plans to check out The National Gallery, London. “Or maybe, I will wear my mask and hang out with Monet, presently also under quarantine at Musée d’Orsay in Paris,” he laughs, adding that he spends 50-60 minutes on each of his tours.

According to Niranjan Ramamurthy, who runs a city-based company that is the authorised dealer of various 360 degree cameras, the technology used behind creating such virtual tours is quite popular abroad. “It’s slowly gaining popularity in India and is a good tool to use for those who are homebound now,” he explains.

Agrees Anisha Dias, who has been engaging with such tours post her work-from-home hours. The copywriter has so far explored The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Munch Museum in Oslo and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. “I really liked how it isn’t throwing too much information about the art or artists directly.

You have the option to process the art piece first, and go through the information about the artist as an afterthought,” says the 24-year-old. Art lovers would argue that the experience cannot match up to visiting such places in real time. But for many like Dias, these tours are the closest they could get, at the moment, to these exhibits. “Maybe some people wouldn’t like to experience this on a screen, but it’s the best I could do to step away from work during this lockdown,” she says. 

Travelling light
Check out the websites of museums and art galleries to take a virtual tour. Some museums offering it are the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; The National Gallery, London; and Lourve Museum, Paris. You could also try out platforms like Google Street View for 360 degree images of parts of the world or Google Arts and Culture to check exhibits from National Museum, New Delhi; Uffizi Gallery, Italy; The Museum of Modern Art, USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA, and more.


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