Wed, Nov 27, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Museum touts VR ‘Mona Lisa’

By Lin Yi-chang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A worker at the National Palace Museum Southern Branch in Chiayi County on Sunday demonstrates how to view the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci using virtual reality.

Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Taipei Times

The National Palace Museum’s Southern Branch is cooperating with local smartphone maker HTC Corp to offer virtual tours of famous museums worldwide beginning on Dec. 17.

Titled “A Carnival of Fantasies,” the exhibit allow visitors to don a virtual reality (VR) headset and explore several museums, including the Louvre Museum and the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, London’s Tate Modern, the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the works of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha.

Visitors would be able to study the Mona Lisa more closely and from different angles than would be traditionally possible when visiting the Louvre, where the painting is kept behind glass, National Palace Museum Director Wu Mi-cha (吳密察) said on Sunday.

The volume of visitors to the Louvre also means that when going to see the Mona Lisa you can only view it for a few seconds, making it impossible to take in all of its fine details, Mu said.

The VR technology employed overcomes these limitations, he added.

The exhibit also includes a 3D rendering of the National Palace Museum’s Kangxi Kangyur Buddhist canon, allowing visitors to view it close up and turn the pages, the museum said.

There are also 3D renderings of the 20 paintings that comprise Mucha’s The Slav Epic, it added.

Visitors can also take virtual tours of impressionist Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, as it appeared in 1877, as well as the artist’s workshop as it was in 1918 and the Musee de l’Orangerie in 1926, the museum said.

The exhibit runs until May 26 next year at the National Palace Museum’s Southern Branch Building 2 and Building 3.

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