A visitor observes a replica of a Dunhuang grotto at an ongoing exhibition in Beijing. Murals, grottoes, painted sculptures, and other items of cultural heritage have been reproduced, and caves that are now closed have been digitally reproduced. The exhibition, which opened in July, will run for three years.
As the pandemic disrupts museum visits and excursions, some are relieved by the rise of digital tours, citing their convenience. Critics, on the other hand, argue that museum visits are only complete when you are there, see it with your own eyes, and hear it discussed live.
It transforms a visit to the museum into a pilgrimage, allowing people to learn more and appreciate things more. However, as Shanghai University vice president and senior museum expert Professor Duan Yong points out, digitizing the museum experience has several advantages for visitors.
Q: What prompted you and some other scholars to call for museums' active participation in the creation of the metaverse in March this year?
A: Wen Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in 2021 that the company would attempt to transition from a social media company to a metaverse company, the move sparked an explosive spread of the concept across various sectors.
I typed "metaverse" into a search engine and was surprised to get 100 million results, which was comparable to the number of results for the entry "Forbidden City," and this was quite a while ago.
I've always been interested in combining ancient cultural heritage with science and technology, with a particular focus on research and education in smart museums; thus, I've been following "metaverse" as a new concept.
There is, in my opinion, an element of speculation about it, with its share of bubbles in the prevailing cacophony, but this does not change my assessment that the metaverse will be a strategic direction for the future of digital social development, providing a critical opportunity for people to grasp the latest round of revolution in technology and industries.
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