Culture and tourism don’t stop during the novel coronavirus pandemic. If it’s impossible to travel because of the lock-down, many governments and organizations have made their beauties and their cultural heritage available online. A service highly appreciated by citizens, who forced to stay home for the measures in response to, are able to rediscover museums, exhibitions and precious gardens, directly on their computer and smartphones.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in Washington (USA), virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display. During the virtual visit, it’s possible to learn about the ecology of African elephants, their place in geologic time, and their connections to humans, including the threats they face from poachers. Examine the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures over time in the realms of family, work, community, and the natural environment as well.
In Italy, The ‘Scuderie del Quirinale’ virtually reopened the doors of the “Raffaello, 1520-1483” exhibition with video stories, insights and forays into the backstage which, through social channels, will allow the visitor to admire some of the most beautiful works on display and will present details and curiosities about the art of the Renaissance painter and on the largest exhibition ever attempted so far. With the hashtag #RaffaelloOltreLaMostra it will be possible to listen the story of the curators and virtually participate in the meetings hosted at Palazzo Altempi, in Rome, before the opening of the exhibition to the public. From Silvia Ginzburg, expert on the theme of Raphael’s youth, to Antonio Natali, who tells the painter’s Florentine period, up to Alessandro Zuccari, who explores his activity in the capital.
In the United Arab Emirates, Louvre Abu Dhabi provided free access to more content through virtual tours, video, audio and downloadable activities, ensuring that the museum remains accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. “While Louvre Abu Dhabi is temporarily closed, our mission of sharing stories of cultural connections continues,” said Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. “New digital features include a virtual 360-tour of our most recent exhibition, as well as online resources and activities that bring our collection to life. We will continue to tell the stories of our museum, with the hope that they offer solace, peace and inspiration,” Rabaté added. Louvre Abu Dhabi is also a part of CulturAll, a new initiative launched by the UAE Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to bring the emirate’s cultural landmarks online for audiences to enjoy their offerings from home.
The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has also decided to make available online guided tours in the ancient Egypt and exhibitions of archaeological jewels preserved along the Nile. “This initiative – the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity (@moantiquities) explains from its Facebook page – is part of our efforts to allow people from all over the world to explore and enjoy the ancient Egyptian civilization even if confined to their home due to precautionary anti-pandemic measures”. Several online visits, one more suggestive than the other, are published every day both on the official website of the Egyptian ministry and on the social networks accounts, with the slogan “Live Egypt from home. Stay safe”.