At the main entrance of the British Museum’s Great Court sits a transparent X mark. This spot is my monitor’s expanded view of the deserted, luminous Great Court. Moving the cursor about pressing down on the mouse’s left button, the scene in front of me seamlessly changes. I look in all directions of the room, including upwards at the glass, steel dome, acknowledging the great height and the colour of the sky. Though I’ve seen this perspective various times it’s anew seeing it online.
With the much-needed help of the mouse, I manoeuvred, well clicked my way swiftly around the Great Court. Getting as close as I could to the sculptures. Studying the surface of each texture, the map lines created from the creeks and cracks. Knowing very well I would never be this observant in person. I pass by the open cafe where I once brought a slice of red velvet cake and the gift shop where I’d spend hours looking over each souvenir. Slowly making my way back to where I started, the main entrance, before proceeding on towards the galleries.
As I enter through the first doorway of the Ancient Egyptian Sculpture Gallery, I’m amazed at how the digital tools of the 21st century have brought artefacts from the early centenaries into the view of my monitor. Growing up this was a receptive vision of the 90s. Passing through the quiet space, stopping at the first relic, I wonder how many other patrons from across the globe are also touring as I am.
Staying inspired for all us restrained wayfarers has become possible especially during these restricted times, thanks to Google Arts and Culture. I continued to navigate, effortlessly gliding further into the brightly lit virtual galleries. Getting lost along the way, typically as I would have, had I been at the museum. Trying to retrace my virtual steps back to the great court, I clicked my way into more rooms completely off-track.
I was hoping to see the Albukhary Foundation Gallery which wasn’t possible, though it can wait. Tomorrow I have plans to visit another museum, this time in Italy.