With corona, viewing exhibitions and works of art online has become an important and often the only opportunity to enjoy museum offerings. The digitalized consumer versions of museums and our cultural heritage are taking their first but increasingly speedy steps. We Finns could lead the way in Europe, and even in the whole world.
Last spring, to promote the digitalization of museum operations and our cultural heritage, the John Nurminen Foundation and the Finnish Museums Association launched the ambitious Digimuseo.fi service. With the service, you can visit exhibitions that are available in museums, such as the virtual tour of the Presidential Palace, and even visit places that you cannot otherwise enter. You can visit the digital museum from anywhere in the world. Moreover, the service makes it possible to produce an online exhibition from collections that in real life are never exhibited in museum buildings.
These days, online exhibitions are mostly built on videos or individual images, even though the heart and soul of a museum visit is something else altogether. Museum visits are first and foremost a social endeavour. Fewer than 20% of people visit museums alone. The digimuseo.fi service provides solutions that enable a visit to an online exhibition to have a social dimension: this is even more important now, when we spend so much time in isolation because of corona.
We invite museums, custodians of art and cultural heritage collections, companies, state authorities, and other foundations alike to join the work. A new Supercell can also be born from the union of digital technology and culture.
This text was first published on the opinions page of Helsingin Sanomat, 17 January 2021.
CEO, John Nurminen Foundation
Secretary General, Finnish Museums Association