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7 Cultural Centers to Virtually Explore Now

Part of the stay at home club? You can still revel in the artsonline, that is.

Even if you’re practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, you can still satisfy your wanderlust thanks to modern technology. Many cultural centers all over the world are now offering virtual experiences that you can check out from the comfort of your home. Perhaps the best thing we can do during this uncertain time is to stay in and make the most of it—to appreciate the magnificence of wonders near and far, even if we can’t be there physically. After all, novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, “Beauty will save the world.” That’s right, art can be therapy. Ahead, seven spots that we hope will inspire you.

1. Opéra National de Paris

Palais Garnier © Patrick Tourneboeuf

Founded by Louis XIV in 1669, the Paris Opera is one of the world’s greatest opera and ballet houses. Although closed during this quarantine period, the institution is streaming select shows from its archives for free on its website. Want more? Take a tour of the 19th-century architectural masterpiece via the Google Arts & Culture site. Be sure to click through the gallery to discover photographs of the intricately painted ceilings, too.

2. Met Opera, New York

For more opera offerings, set aside some time for “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of Live in HD presentations from the past 14 years that is airing throughout the coronavirus closure. Each begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and is available on its homepage for 23 hours. Enjoy a front row seat to the presentation and feel as if you’re at Lincoln Center without having to leave your living room.

3. Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, Italy

Take a virtual tour of this Milan museum here to explore works from the neoclassicism era. You’ll be able to digitally travel through its galleries and outdoor spaces (the entrance and courtyard) to see the architecture of the building in Villa Reale which was built between 1790 and 1796 and designed by Leopoldo Pollock.

4. Adachi Museum of Art, Yasugi, Japan

This museum, founded in 1970 by Zenko Adachi, is as much known for its gardens as it is for its collection of art. Works include modern Japanese paintings by artists such as Yokoyama Taikan, Takeuchi Seiho, Kawai Gyokudo, and more. Click here to view the art on display—from still life and landscape paintings to unique ceramics. For a zen escape, this video gives you a glimpse of the gardens on site.

5. New York Public Library

If you’re a New Yorker, sign up for a library card (if you don’t have one already) to access tons of resources including e-books and online research consultations. Have kids? NYPL also offers free online tutoring to help ease the transition of at-home schooling. Live support for topics from math to science, reading, and more, are just a few clicks away.

6. The Centre Pompidou, Paris

This cultural center is a catch-all for all things creative. A museum, library, cinema, concert venue, and event space, The Centre Pompidou has much to offer. During this time, you can tune in to its selection of podcasts, spoken in French, which explore works from its historical archives.

7. Museo de Art de Lima, Cercado de Lima, Peru

Also known as MALI, this non-profit cultural organization in Lima houses one of the largest collections of Peruvian art ranging from pre-Columbian times to contemporary works. This site is worth a visit to learn about Peru’s history through works spanning 3,000 years.

Wendy Sy

Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.

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