A time when the world is facing lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak, these virtual tours of some of the iconic museums will surely kill the boredom. By Tanvi Jain

1. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

This iconic art museum is offering video tours of current exhibitions, collection highlights, audio and video lectures by artistes and curators, and more. The place features at Google’s Arts & Culture section, where it shows two online exhibits namely ‘Fashioning a Nation’ and ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’. While the former exhibits American fashion from 1740 to 1895, the latter gives an insight of the 17th century Dutch life via paintings.

2. MoMa The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

This Manhattan-based museum founded in 1929, flaunts a rich collection of modern and contemporary art, ranging from the European paintings and sculptures of the 1880s, to the film, design and performance art of today. It has over 1,50,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural and design objects, around 22,000 films, 4 million stills, 3 lakh books and files on over 70,000 artists. Its online exhibits include the work of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, a central figure in the art movements of the 20th century. The exhibit focuses mainly on women artists of the past who have long been overlooked by male dominated museums.

3. Museo Nacional, The National Museum of Brazil

Founded in 1818 by King João VI of Portugal, Brazil, this museum located in Rio de Janerio is the oldest natural history institution and is home to over 20 million scientific and historical items. Google Arts & Culture’s virtual tour of the museum offers treasures such as the oldest human skeleton in the Americas, the Bendegó Meteorite — the biggest ever meteorite found on Brazilian soil weighing approximately 5,360 kilograms — and an unparalleled collection of ancient Brazilian ceramics.

4. The Uffizi, Florence

With Italy’s museums being on a shutdown situation until (at least) April, amid the Coronavirus outbreak, The Italian Renaissance collection of this prominent museum in Florence can be explored online. Google Arts & Culture represents seven exhibits such as Botticelli’s famous depiction of ‘The Birth of Venus’, drawings of some well-known Bolognese artists, Salvatore Ferragamo’s fashion collection, and much more.

5. Russia’s State Hermitage Museum: St. Petersburg, Russia

This largest museum of Russia offers a five-hour virtual tour. The museum’s over 3 million exhibits represent Antiquity, Western Europe, Middle East, Russia and many more epochs, countries and regions. Dating to 1764, the museum consists of five buildings in the historical centre of St. Petersburg. Its collection, which has witnessed massive growth for two-and-a-half centuries, now includes approximately, 17,000 paintings, 6,00,000 graphic works, over 12,000 sculptures, 3,00,000 works of craft, 7,00,000 archaeological and 10,00,000 numismatic findings.

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