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The Best Museums you can visit from home: virtual tours, digitalised collections, and HyperVisions

Ever had that daydream about being accidentally locked into a museum overnight? With no way out until morning, you are free to spend the whole night browsing your favourite artists, fully immersed into a fascinating interior. Since forever, museums are considered magical places. To visit them when there’s almost no one in, being able to stroll around their empty rooms and aisles, is a really unique experience. Today, this experience is just one click away, as you can enjoy the MoMA’s collection, explore the Vatican Museums mesmerising rooms, or browse online your favourite artist’s pieces through the Google Art Project.

#iorestoacasa applies to everyone. Ashtart stays home, too, but it won’t stop its activity. Taking advantage of all the digital tools available, our headquarter temporarily turns into a virtual one. Waiting for the situation to get better, we won’t get discouraged by the current circumstances. Even though we cannot rejoice in world cultural heritage “in flesh”; we can still enjoy most of it from our sofas, thanks to digital technologies.

We have listed out the best museums you can visit from home whenever you are craving culture, be that over the weekend or in the middle of the night. You can make the most of your time through these incredible virtual tours and forget you are hunkering down at your place.

1. Vatican Museums: Rome’s Vatican Museums offer a series of virtual tours with a 360-degree, high-definition view. You can virtually walk through all the entire museum (click here), and even visit the Sistine Chapel (click here).

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2. Louvre: Paris’s Louvre too provides its tourists with virtual guided tours for free. The online-accessible heritage includes the museum’s unique Egyptian Antiquities collection, as well as the possibility to explore some of its interiors (click here).

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3. Google Art Project: Google partnered-in with over 60 museums and galleries to archive an impressive number of images and data for users to explore, and more that 1488 anecdotes to uncover. Through virtual reality tours (click here) it is possible to admire a huge number of artworks in high definition. The virtual database embraces artists such as Rembrandt, Gustav Klimt, Tintoretto, Rockwell, and Botero, among the many, celebrating different form of artistic expressions, ranging from Banksy’s street art to Mario Testino’s photography. These guided tours enable viewers to enjoy the most beautiful expressions of street art around the world, and to visit some of the places described by Cervantes in his Don Quixote. Users can sneak in the most famous artists’ studios, take a tour of Anne Frank House, and even take a stroll through CERN’s underground spaces. This diversity is what makes Google Art Project as a place of places, by means of which the whole cultural heritage is collected and stored in one single virtual room.

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4. Washington National Gallery of Art: if you cannot flight to Washington D.C., then Washington D.C. will get to you. You can now take virtual tours of the National Gallery of Art from your home, exploring its gallery and exhibits.

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5. Smithsonian National Museum: this popular and well-loved Museum of Natural History offers a peek at its collection with five 360-degree walking tours (click here), offering users the possibility to visit the Permanent collection as well as exploring Current and Past Exhibits. Viewers can enjoy close-up images of the collections, including the Museum’s showcases of bones, antler, snakes, crabs, octopus, and baths (click here).

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6. Metropolitan Museum of Art: anything is possible at the MoMA, since the museum is home to over two million artworks which can be easily accessed online through virtual tours of its rooms and galleries.

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7. NASA: the NASA website offers the possibility to take free visits of its Space Centre. These include videos with a voice-over guiding you through the Centre and describing the technical features of several telescopes and satellites. You can also experience a simulated view of the sky between two black holes as seen with your own eyes.

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8. British Museum: by clicking this link, you can access part of the British Museum’s extensive collection in high definition as well as more than 8 millions of its invaluable objects.

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9. Guggenheim museum: thanks to the partnership between Mountain View and Solomon R. Guggenheim, part of the heritage of the unique Manhattan museum can now be browsed online through virtual tours via Google Street View. Over 120 pieces from the permanent collection, including artworks by artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Gauguin Renoir, Cézanne, and Kandinsky, are now viewable online and can be enjoyed from your home.

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10. Dalí Theatre-Museum: the Dalí Theatre-Museum provides its visitors with the possibility to walk through its rooms and explore its objects and paintings, enjoying dedicated 360-degree virtual tours. Aim of this initiative is to encourage users to explore the museums and to spots its hidden secrets.

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11. The Uffizi Galleries: Florence’s Uffizi Galleries offer virtual tours supported by HyperVisions, allowing to discover the museum’s collection and to view high definition pictures of its exceptional collection. The project also allows viewers to explore the history behind the showcased items and to enjoy virtual exhibits devised by the museum staff. You can now visit the Room of Saturn in Pitti palace, admire Cimabue’s Santa Trinita Maestà, or even relish the captivating gesture characterising Piero di Cosimo’s Perseus Freeing Andromeda.

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Hidden Hub is an editorial project powered by Ashtart Consultancy, a strategy and management firm for creative and cultural worlds.

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