Most of the world is practising social distancing by staying at home to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic and Ljubljana is no different. Government regulations have been put in place to stop the virus from spreading, instructing people to work from home and limit their social encounters to virtual sessions. Although the situation that is keeping us at home is serious, we can find some light in the situation. For one, this time can be spent with our families and doing things we normally don’t have time for. While not all activities are available virtually, museums have been opening up to the virtual public all over the world and Ljubljana is joining in.
Ljubljana is the cultural capital of Slovenia, keeping its rich cultural heritage alive with numerous museums, galleries and cultural centres. Naturally, these establishments were meant to be visited and enjoyed in person, but some tours and exhibits are also available online. This way you can bring culture straight from a museum into your home and enrich your stay at home days with virtual tours and online exhibits that give you access to knowledge about art, history, and science.
TAKE A CULTURAL WALK ONLINE
The first stop is Google Arts & Culture, an online platform through which the public can access high-resolution images of artworks exhibited in the initiative’s partner museums. The digital platform utilizes high-resolution image technology and enables users to virtually tour the museums’ galleries, explore physical and contextual information about artworks, and compile their own virtual collection. Next to the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, the collection also includes some Slovenian museums, such as the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana. The platform lets you walk along the National Museum’s permanent art exhibition, explore all the rooms and delve deeper into the art hanging on the walls by clicking on individual paintings.
Also on display in Google Arts & Culture is the National and University Library Slovenia (NUK), featuring five exhibits in pictures. NUK collects, documents, preserves and archives the written cultural and scientific heritage of the Slovenian nation and provides ready access to knowledge and culture of the past and present Slovenian generations. By browsing the historic books virtually, you can examine the library’s cartographic and pictorial treasures, delve into the memory of oral folklore developmentand study the elaborate details in a medieval manuscript.
In addition to being featured on Google Arts & Culture, the National Museum of Slovenia has its own virtual touring base. The website features nine virtual exhibitions, including Prehistoric treasures of the National Museum, Mummy and the crocodile, The knight, lady and dragon, and Ljubljanica – the cultural heritage of the river. The virtual tours on the website of the National Museum of Slovenia also include seven virtual walks, some extending beyond the walls of the museum. As the name implies, a virtual walk lets you stroll along some parts of the location as if you were physically there. You can roam the displays of Ljubljana’s Roman legacy, history and art collections and even visit the Snežnik castle.
NEW ONLINE CONTENT
Numerous cultural institutions in Ljubljana are making an effort to help entertain people at home and started providing virtual content of different varieties that can be brought straight into people’s homes. The National Gallery of Slovenia is offering virtual access to the permanent collections and also a virtual walk through the gallery. MG + MSUM (Museum of Modern Art) put their current exhibitions and permanent collections on virtual display, and Equrna gallery also shared the currently displayed exhibition Zeleni rez (Green ratio) online. The Slovenian Film Database is participating in encouraging the stay at home movement by posting a list of Slovenian movies every Monday and Thursday, that will be available to watch for free for the following seven days. Several movies also offer the option of English subtitles.
COOK, BE AN ARTIST, WATCH A PLAY
Among the more extraordinary endeavours, one can cook, be an artist or watch a play from the sofa. The City Museum of Ljubljana decided to engage people in cooking historical dishes. They are recreating recipes dating back to the Roman and Medieval times in Ljubljana as part of the permanent exhibition Ljubljana. History. City. The City Gallery of Ljubljana initiated a special project entitled Art in Isolation, encouraging artists to send photographs of their work, related to the currently most popular topic – coronavirus. Each Friday all newly collected works are virtually displayed. The City Theatre of Ljubljana (MGL) decided the show must go on (literally) and is regularly uploading full-length theatre plays on their YouTube channel.
VIRTUAL CULTURE SOURCES
City Gallery of Ljubljana Art in Isolation
City Museum of Ljubljana Cooking videos
City Theatre of Ljubljana Theatre plays
Equrna gallery Exhibition Zeleni rez
MG+MSUM Current exhibitions and permanent collections
National and University Library Permanent exhibits
Slovenian Film Database Free movies