In Self-Isolation? Visit the World’s Cultural Sites from your Living Room
With the Principality and much of the world self-isolating at home, new online resources are keeping us entertained, cultured and less alone. Stunning heritage sites and museums are now offering immersive virtual tours that are almost as good as being there in person. The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community during this pandemic is to stay indoors as much as possible. So kick back, relax and take a trip to Mexico, London and Italy all in one afternoon at home.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pompeii was a Roman city located near Naples dating back to the 8th century BC. After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii was buried under 6 metres of volcanic ash. Largely preserved under the ash, the excavated city offers a unique snapshot of Roman life, frozen in time.
The Pompeii exhibition, which was set to begin on 25 March at the Grand Palais in Paris has since been moved online. Now titled “Expo Pompéi chez vous” the public now has access to videos, VR, catalogues, drawings, audioguides and games from home.
The Sistine Chapel
Take a stroll through the official residence of the pope, in the Vatican City. Michelangelo, who was not primarily a painter but a sculptor, is said to have been reluctant to take on painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Today, over five centuries after the ceiling was completed, the frescoes are still hailed as some of the world’s grandest masterpieces. The most famous of these frescoes is without a doubt ‘The Creation of Adam’ well-known in modern culture for the dramatic positioning of two monumental figures reaching towards each other. Thanks to this virtual portal, you can look up at the ceiling and even zoom in for a closer look at all of the chapel’s legendary frescoes.
The Frida Kahlo museum
Known as the Casa Azul (the ‘Blue House’), the Frida Kahlo museum holds personal objects that reveal the private universe of one of Latin America’s most celebrated artists. Located in one of the oldest and most beautiful neighbourhoods in Mexico City, the Blue House was made into a museum in 1958.
Frida Kahlo’s creative universe can be discovered in the Blue House, the place where she was born and where she died. (Following her marriage to Diego Rivera, Frida lived in different places in Mexico City and abroad, but she always returned to her family home in Coyoacán.)
The Blue House also contains some of the painter’s most important works: Long Live Life (1954), Frida and the Caesarian Operation (1931), and Portrait of My Father Wilhelm Kahlo (1952), among others.
The Met in New York City is the largest art museum in the United States. It was the fourth most visited art museum in the world in 2019. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is hitting New York City very hard and the museum will be closed for an undetermined amount of time. But the museum’s online resources are vast and well-organized. Visitors can check out the Met’s exhibitions, recent acquisitions, blogs and educational resources on their website.
The National Gallery in London
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, Central London houses over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to the year 1900. A Google virtual tour allows visitors to enjoy panoramic views of the gallery in collaboration with Google Street View. Other virtual tours include Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany.