China's Most Visited Museums Go Digital In 2020
In recent years, visiting museums has become a popular activity among Chinese people during Chinese New Year. This year, with the Forbidden City celebrating its 600th anniversary in 2020, the world-famous Palace Museum has planned an enticing line-up of exhibitions for the year, including an exhibit focused on how Chinese New Year was celebrated in the Forbidden City in ancient China.
However, since January 22, museums nationwide started to announce temporary closure due to health and safety concerns. Thankfully, a special meeting was convened by the cultural administration to encourage museums to make their exhibitions accessible online and to “promote the combination of new technology and inheritance of our country's cultural heritage”.
This means the Forbidden City’s Spring Festival exhibit can now be found online, so is a virtual tour of the the Palace Museum, named “The Panoramic Palace Museum”, allowing visitors to roam around the 720,000 square-metres complex. You can even switch to a snowy background to browse through museum in a 360-degree winter setting.
Meanwhile, the National Museum of China has also launched the digital version of its latest exhibition, “The Journey Back Home: An Exhibition of Chinese Artifacts Repatriated from Italy”, which allows users to zoom into the relics and learn more about their history.
Many other cultural institutions around the country followed suit as the public welcomed these virtual galleries. The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, for example, has adopted virtual reality technology to offer a 360-degree tour that lets online visitors enter the museum from the entrance, follow the stairs which leads to the displays. The close-up feature for the information walls are especially helpful, which helps to transform the viewer to the exhibit without being there physically.