Virtual museums: definition and examples


Since the term virtual is associated with the idea of ​​an extension with respect to reality, the term virtual museum is generally used to indicate the digital duplication of a museum and its collections. The virtual museum is an informative system connected to a real museum institution, conveyed through the internet and the museum's website which provides different types of data. The virtualization of the museum is therefore treated as a complement to the existing museum offer, not as an integral replacement for it, although there are those who criticize virtual museums by claiming to be replacements for real museums.

Currently, there are more and more traditional online museums which, already equipped with a website, decide to expand their museum offer with new virtual remote technologies; and the number of physical museums has also grown, which have improved their offer in presence with multimedia-type installations.

It is not therefore an alternative to a real museum, because it is not a place of conservation, instead it is a communication and dissemination tool that supports the museum institution in a complementary way, both in carrying out its didactic and exhibition task, and by promoting the structure itself.

Since 2020, online museums have exploded. During the Covid period, when the whole world was in lockdown, virtual museums boomed: there were millions of "digital tourists" who, unable to physically travel, went to museums virtually.

It is possible to enter the most important museums in the world without moving from your room and without paying the entrance ticket. Now technology allows us to travel comfortably from home, and comes to our aid to help us doing it, or otherwise we couldn't possibly leave our home.

So here is a list of museums that you can easily explore without leaving home:

British Museum, London

The British Museum is one of the largest online museums in the world. Its online platform offers a large collection of historical objects to discover. Each object has a brief explanation to better understand its origins and history.I recommend taking a tour of its virual rooms.

If you are a big history buff, I recommend you visit it!

Vatican Museums, Rome

Yes, even the Vatican museums have landed in the 21st century and have made a virtual tour of their collections. With its large collection of important works, the Vatican Museums give you the opportunity to take a 360 degree tour of marvelous works including the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Are you dying to visit Washington and this beautiful museum but have not yet managed to find the right opportunity? Don't worry, thanks to virtual tours and visits with video and audio, you will almost feel like you are there.

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Surely one of the most famous and important museums in Italy. High-definition images for a virtual tour that will give you the opportunity to rediscover the best artistic masterpieces, from the works of Botticelli to Cimabue and Leonardo da Vinci. The Uffizi are splendid in terms of architecture, my advice is to take a day to admire the works and walk virtually in this historic place.

Prado Museum, Madrid

Thanks to the artificial intelligence that the Prado online museum offers, you can discover its vast collection of works following a timeline that divides them into different levels.

MoMa, New York

One of the most famous museums in the world. The MoMA online museum has digitized the collection of works of art, one of the most beautiful in the world, making them available and easy to consult from a PC. Are you ready for a visit to New York?

Hermitage, St. Petersburg

One of the most beautiful virtual museums I have ever seen. You perceive the emotion that you would have actually visiting it. More than 3 million works of world culture can be admired in this museum's online collection. For example, you can admire the Winter Palace for free.

Rijks, Amsterdam

By connecting to the website of this museum, you will have 80 art galleries to discover. Take a tour admiring the main hall and lose yourself among the works of the greatest Dutch artists such as Vermeer and Rembrandt.

To this day, the belief remains that the virtual museum will never replace the real one and the experience of seeing the original works with your own eyes. It is impossible, in fact, it is a real application in digital format of a physical visit conducted in the rooms of a museum, the virtual user hardly coincides with the real one because the visit of the museum is not always via consequentiality between those who visit the site and who visit the museum. One can complement that of the other.

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Adventurer. It depends on nature. Obsessive student. Explorer. I am an adventurous traveler and photographer based in northern Italy. I graduated from the Artistic High School with specialization in audiovisual and multimedia, and now I'm graduating from the University at the faculty of sciences and techniques of cultural tourism. I love travel and I have made my passion my job.


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