18 May is International Museum Day. On this symbolic day, the art lover is welcome again in the Belgian museums. In person, this time. For the past few months, our top museums also opened their doors virtually, with the guided tours of the "Stay At Home Museum". The reopening of our museums is the ideal moment to summarize the success in some impressive figures.
Visit the museum as a VIP
Because nobody could visit the Flemish Masters, Tourism Flanders turned the tables: van Eyck, Bruegel, Rubens and Ensor came to the art lover's home, with the city palace "Hof van Busleyden" as a bonus. This did not take place in the classic form of a 360° or Virtual Reality film, but with exclusive premieres on Facebook Live: private guided tours by the museum director or curator in the museum, that was specially reserved for the occasion. This is an honour normally only granted to dignitaries and VIPs. As icing on the cake, the art lover could ask his questions in a live Q&A after the tour.
A multi-million audience from Australia across Flanders to the USA
This short film lists some highlights of the tours, together with the impressive results. Through Visit Flanders' own channels (Facebook, YouTube, www.flemishmasters.com) alone, almost 2.5 million “cultural added value seekers” watched the private tours. This audience is spread over almost 100 countries worldwide.
Remarkable facts about the campaign, including praise from the BBC and the education sector
Almost 2 million visitors watched an episode on YouTube. This is extremely high for films of this length. - The press interest was enormous, with coverage in more than 50 international media. Among them sounding names like CNN, BBC, Le Figaro, El Pais, Het Parool and Global Times China. - The BBC labeled the Stay At Home Museum as "best lockdown entertainment". - The full series was also launched in Russia and China. - The series was included in the cultural offerings of the Bruges prison and the residential care centre network of Flanders. - And last but not least, the "Stay At Home Museum" is included in the Archives for Education of Flanders. This allows teachers to use the documentaries for the education of future generations. That is entirely in line with the mission "Reizen naar Morgen" (Travelling to Tomorrow) of Visit Flanders.
Will there be a sequel to "Stay At Home"?
The name of the project is already a hint. Will we have to stay at home again? Then the thread of regular episodes can be taken up again. But also without another lockdown new episodes will be scheduled. No better motivation than the enthusiasm of millions of art lovers worldwide.