While the National Museum and all of its buildings are currently closed to visitors due to the restrictions put in place by the Czech government to stop the spread of the coronavirus, like many institutions, it’ll be making its collections available online.
Beginning Monday, March 23 the museum started offering virtual tours of some its current exhibitions online through its website.
The first exhibits are both devoted to the Velvet Revolution. “Velvet Revolution: It’s called the Velvet Revolution” is focused on the events of the second half of the 1980s, the Velvet Revolution itself, and the period until the June 1990 elections.
“Labyrinth of Information and Printing Paradise” is an exhibition that marks the 300th anniversary of the first Czech newspaper.
In the coming days, other exhibitions from the Czech Museum of Music and the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures will follow as well as “Enter the Theater” an exhibit of artifacts from the National Theatre’s theater department.
The museum also says that it gradually plans to open all of its current exhibits virtually while beginning to organize new exhibitions online.
A team of IT and communication specialists and museum educators created and virtually opened the exhibits via the INDIHU Exhibition platform operated by the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Special educational projects for children as well as a dedicated YouTube channel are in the works. Online exhibitions are optimized for desktop or laptop but due to high resolution cannot be viewed on mobile platforms.
“Almost immediately after the decision that the museum must be closed, my colleagues and I were given a task that also became a major challenge,” said Michal Stehlík, Deputy Director General for Exhibitions and Collections and the project team leader.
“We began to prepare online presentation of our collections. I am glad and proud that in recent days I have been able to coordinate such a great team of curators, IT staff and other museum professions who have devoted a lot of time to stay in touch with the visitor,” he said.
Online visitors can see photographs, documents, collection items, and audio-visual materials associated with the exhibitions accompanied by the voice of the Czech director, moderator, and traveler Petr Horký. The virtual exhibition section can be opened via the National Museum website or here.
“We care for and guard the cultural heritage of our country, work on research projects, and also want to be in touch with the public and constantly present collections, scientific results, help with education and the world,” says National Museum CEO Michal Lukeš.
“I am very pleased that we managed to launch an online exhibition project in a few days and I am proud of everyone in the preparatory team as well as all National Museum staff who have been able to do their work with great dedication and excellence at this time,” he adds.
The public can also view the reconstructed beauty of the National Museum Historic Building from home via Google street view or see interesting exhibits at www.esbirky.cz.
A number of virtual materials are also currently online in an English-friendly format at Google arts and culture.