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The Best Virtual Visits of Paris Museums
Art is about to invade your living room!
I like virtual museums and started using them long before the pandemic. Whenever I used to visit a new city, I would spend some time beforehand looking at the collections from the comfort of my home. That way, I was able to pick the museums I would want to see IRL once I’d arrive.
Since the start of COVID, many museums have enhanced their virtual offers and have extensive online tours. Here are a few of the best Paris visits you can have from your computer, as soon today - either because you’re an art lover or to get ideas for your next trip!
Musée de l’Orangerie
The two oval rooms of the Musée de l’Orangerie have been digitalized by Google and are now available for virtual visits. These two gorgeous art pieces, which Claude Monet painted over the course of eleven (!) years, are obviously worth visiting in person and count as some of my favorite art memories. However, the Museum has made it extremely easy and agreeable to wander in these rooms online. A fisheye lens gives the feel for the oval shape of the room, while HD photographs of the canvas let you zoom in to infinity and see the paintings’ details in an unprecedented way.
Musée du Louvre
With such an important reputation, you would expect the Louvre to have a significant online presence… and they delivered! Not only you can wander through the collections with a 360-degree visit, but also some of the past exhibitions. They have also invited filmmakers to make special videos (most of them in French) that can be seen on this extensive YouTube playlist, from short conferences to Historical presentations by way of philosophical discussions and tours by comedians.
If you’ve ever wondered what an ASMR in the Louvre would sound like, you can find out here.
Few people remember that the Musee d’Orsay was first built as a train station. You can learn about the History of the building, and how the shift happened, in this fascinating virtual presentation. Whether you are a history, architecture or art buff, you will likely learn a lot here. Did you know that the former train station/current museum was built on the ruins of a financial institution burnt down during a 19th-Century riot? Me neither, but it sure sounds quite French to me!
L’Opera de Paris
Ok, this isn’t a museum per se, but this is a true gem. Although most people have never stepped inside, they know the grand staircase (Funny Face, anyone? Or, hum… Emily in Paris?). What is great is that you can now visit the Opera with Google Maps. You can even pretend you are on stage while performing Swan Lake in your living room. Last but not least, you can even venture on the roof and see Paris and its Boulevards from above.