OK, we get it, so maybe you wouldn’t have been that cultured even if there was no Coronavirus-based self-isolation on the cards, but let’s look at this as a window of opportunity. If you’re forced to stay indoors, don’t just go straight for Netflix. Instead, try a little more rigorous exercise of the mind. Read a book (maybe write one), do a crossword puzzle or, with astronauts, mummies and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel all on offer, take in one of these world famous museum’s virtual tours.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
While Washington DC’s Smithsonian museums are among the best in the world the National Air and Space Museum is one of the most popular. Hardly surprising when you have Neil Armstrong’s recently renovated Apollo 11 spacesuit, the actual Space Shuttle Discovery, and the 1903 Wright Flyer – considered the first ever successful powered aircraft – on offer.
The British Museum, London
One of the most famous museums in the world has a wealth of rarities and oddities on show via its virtual tour. Save yourself the bus fare to Bloomsbury in west London and take in artefacts ranging from Egyptian mummies to the fossil of one of the first dinosaurs ever discovered, to the Rosetta Stone that finally helped the world decipher hieroglyphics.
The Vatican Museums, Vatican City
OK, so while Italy might be fully in lockdown, but at least you’re still able to take in some of the country’s staggering art – not least at the Vatican Museums. Whether you’re there for the Roman sculpture, the Renaissance art or just to take a look at Michelangelo’s handy work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, this virtual tour won’t disappoint.
The Guggenheim, New York City
While the UAE waits to add the Guggenheim to Louvre Abu Dhabi on the capital’s list of outstanding art institutions, you can take in a virtual tour of the Fifth Avenue operation in NYC right now. Head to Google’s Street View for the works of Cézanne and Kandinsky, then spend most of your time wandering up and down the iconic spiral staircase.
The Ufizi Gallery, Florence
Pretty much the home of the Italian Renaissance, the Ufizi was originally intended to showcase the art collection of the Medici family – patrons of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo, and once considered the wealthiest family in the world. Now one of the most visited galleries in the world is yours for the virtual touring, all from the comfort of your own sofa.