Advances in technology are constantly pushing the boundaries as to how we see and experience the world around us. This applies to historical exhibitions as well. Technological advances in travel allow us to move around the world with relative ease, visiting places of historical importance to help us to experience first hand a piece of our past. Alternatively, we can view galleries and exhibitions in an even more modern way, via the internet. Online museums allow a much wider audience the chance to bring history to life within their own homes.
This is the case with the recent Thracian exhibition which was originally displayed in the National Gallery of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Golden Fleece, Quest of the Argonauts is now available online, accessible from the comfort of your own home on a computer screen. The exhibition took place physically in the national gallery from the 16th of March – 10th June 2018. Those who were not fortunate enough to witness the fascinating exhibition in person, can now take an interactive, virtual tour of the impressive artefacts that were on display.
Thanks to technological advancements, everyone has the opportunity to explore the gallery using their preferred digital device. The innovative 360 degrees feature on the site allows those who are interested in cultural history to interact during the tour. The lens can be moved around to look at different artefacts. They can choose which of the artefacts to zoom in on; it is the next best thing to being there in real life. The fascinating artefacts are all part of Vasil Bojkov’s personal collection, which contains a staggering 3000+ priceless ancient items.
Aside from the obvious benefits that this gives in terms of allowing the exhibition to reach a wider audience, the online exhibition provides plenty of additional information too. Each artefact can be interacted with and further information can be provided about each piece if the user chooses to learn more.
On the Thrace Foundation website, you can hover over certain items from the collection that look particularly interesting and click to read more about different things. This will redirect the user to a different page, where they can explore detailed descriptions of the artefact. More pictures and even some myths about it will be revealed too. For instance, more can be learnt this way about the Silver rhyton and the Silver horn rhyton. Some of the items have hidden meanings and significance so this is a particularly interesting feature. Videos are also available, which reveal further information in a fashion that is easy to take in.
The creative digital tour is just one part of a larger project. This includes many different curator talks to large audiences, public discussions, videos, publications, articles and more. Among these, Professor Athanasios Sideris’s lectures, Legends on Silver, gained considerable media attention.
Interest in the exhibition has been strong, and is continuing to be so. It represents a leap forward for museum exhibitions in the future. It has provided a unique opportunity for people to explore ancient artefacts on their digital devices, whenever they choose to do so. This will naturally draw in a larger audience than exhibitions which can only be viewed in person, for practical reasons more than anything else. Also, once the viewers can see the artefacts, they also have the option of learning lots more information about it through clicking on it to bring up a new page.