By Kaitlin Dunn
Elm Staff Writer
Along with movie theatres, sporting events, and other activities, museums have also been closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many without an outlet for stress relief.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended postponing all large gatherings or events of 50 or more people until May, which left operators of tourist attractions with few options,” The Washington Post reporter Drew Johns said on Mar. 18.
As a result of this, many museums began to offer online tours, allowing those who are now unable to see the sights to still appreciate the art and history associated with them.
“Museums, historical sites, and national parks have stepped up to deliver their signature experiences by offering virtual tours to anyone from the comfort of their homes,” Johns said.
While we can’t see the museums in person, here are some online tours that are being offered to simulate the experience — and the best part is, all of them are free.
The Louvre— Paris, France
The Louvre is one of the most popular museums in the world, as well as the most visited. The museum typically sees millions of visitors from around the world each year. However, due to COVID-19, the Louvre has been closed since March, with no intent of reopening until December at the earliest.
Despite the museum being closed, one can still see the sights it has to offer.
“Visitors to the Louvre can check out virtual tours of the Egyptian antiquities collection, remains of the Louvre’s moat and the Galerie d’Apollon without having to brush by anyone’s shoulders,” Johns said.
The Louvre’s virtual tours are being offered through their official website at www.louvre.fr/en.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art — New York, NY
Home to famous works such as Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies,” The Met has partnered with Google Arts & Galleries to offer an interactive tour of the museum, including many fashion-based exhibits.
“If you love fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (home of the now-postponed Met Gala) offers plenty of online-only exhibits on designers like Rei Kawakubo and Coco Chanel,” Refinery29 reporter Michelle Santiago Cortés said.
The Van Gogh Museum — Amsterdam, Netherlands
Located in Amsterdam, this gallery houses the largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with over 600 artworks and 700 letters from Van Gogh. The museum offers a virtual guided tour, walking you through some of his most famous works, such as “Sunflowers,” “Almond Blossoms,” and “The Yellow House.”
The Van Gogh virtual museum tour is a seven-part video series which showcases some of the works that are on display within the museum.
“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity helps you connect to Van Gogh’s artwork in a reverent setting accompanied by a rich musical score. Incredibly, you don’t even have to fight the crowds of museum-goers for a chance to spend an intimate time with his most popular works,” Megan Cooper with My Modern Met said.
Vatican City, Italy
As a member of the European Union, travel restrictions prevent any non-Europeans from entering Vatican City currently. However, this does not mean you cannot view the sights Vatican City has to offer, such as the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms. The city’s website offers a virtual tour of the halls of the historic sites within the region, allowing visitors to see the works without having to leave their homes.
“Visitors can tour the interior artworks of the chapel, including its renowned ceiling and ‘The Last Judgment,’ by the Renaissance-era painter Michelangelo,” Johns said.
Featured Photo caption: If you’re hoping to explore new places this upcoming break, be sure to check out virtual tours from art museums around the world. Photo Courtesy of Juliet Furst.