A Walk That Spans Hundreds of Miles

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July 4, 2016

A Walk That Spans Hundreds of Miles


Modern technologies allow for tours of world-famous museums and galleries, and you don’t have to leave your home. Very soon, people throughout the world will have the opportunity to visit Uzbek museums as well, while staying at home.

Today’s realities are such that museums are required to offer virtual tours. They not so much replace real-life tours – although the presence effect is there – as draw more people, inviting them to view the exhibits with their own eyes.

Uzbekistan Today has spoken with the executive director of Uzbekistan Council of Museums, Elyor Mullajonov, about the creation of virtual tours for Uzbek museums.

“Our council, established last year at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Sports Affairs, is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) that unites over 30,000 specialists in 165 countries. Its goals are similar to those of the international council: promote the development of museums, preserve legacies, and boost museum employees’ professional skills, among others. The Uzbek council’s first major project was creation of virtual tours of national museums.”

So what has been thus far?

“We have received a subsidy worth 180 million soums fr om the Parliament. We spent 50 million on a camera and a computer that will soon be delivered from the United Arab Emirates. Our employees have been split into three groups and have left for the key cities of the classical tourist trail, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, wh ere they are collecting information about each exhibit. This information will be available in the virtual tours in Uzbek, Russian and English.

“Once renovations at the Amir Temur Museum in Shakhrisabz are over, we will start working there as well. All told, ten museums will have a virtual tour under the project. But we are planning to include museums in Kokand and Tashkent to the list.”

But all national museums have their own websites. How are people going to access the virtual tours?

“They will be available on the official website of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. In addition, a special web portal of the Council of Museums is presently in the making. So, all the tours will be available there as well. Anyone will be able to take a virtual walk in the halls and peruse the exhibits. The website will feature the façade of buildings while the scheme will enable you to choose any section. Then you will see a 3D panoramic view of the space and you will be able to enlarge or decrease the image and change the direction with a mouse. This will help create the presence effect, as if one were turning their head and view the exhibits.