Louvre goes visual with 3Ds guide
Apr 13 2012
The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities, with nearly all of its thousands of works of art dating back to 1848 or earlier.
Now it wants to create a relic of its own - the old museum audio guide.
The famed Paris museum, whose origins date to the 18th century, is pressing on toward modernity and going visual with new electronic guides in a deal with Japan's Nintendo.
The guide provides 3DS game consoles that offer touch-screen, visual-and-audio guidance for visitors who teem the museum's labyrinthine halls by the millions each year.
Billed as an unprecedented innovation at a museum, the game consoles launched this week offer 700 recordings on famed works like the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Mona Lisa - only a tiny sliver of the 35,000-odd works displayed in the museum.
The electronic guides, both navigational and informative, offer virtual glimpses of the artistic touches that are tough for the naked eye to see, like tiny details on towering tableaux on the museum's wood-panelled walls. They will use much of the same information in the Louvre's now-shelved audio guides.
Pairing France's highest-of-high-brow museums with a Japanese technology company behind games like Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers and Zelda might not seem like a natural fit. And some may view the electronic guide as a shop window for Nintendo. But Louvre officials say the museum must change with the times and try to access as wide a public possible.
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