This VR Gallery Is Comprised Entirely Of Stolen Art

Get up-close and personal with missing works of art from Rembrandt & Van Gogh.

In October 1969, an altarpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio mysteriously vanished from the Oratory of San Lorenzoin Palermo, Sicily. In 1990, two men posing as police officers stole 13 works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including several paintings and sketches by Rembrandt. 10 years later, the Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England was infiltrated by a lone thief who made off with Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise.

These types of high-profile art heists have become commonplace within the art world. So much so that one company has decided to fight back against thieves using the power of modern VR technology.

First reported by FastCompany, The Stolen Art Gallery is a one-of-a-kind VR app from Brazilian tech firm Compass UOL that immersed you in a virtual art gallery comprised entirely of stolen art from world-renown artists such as Caravaggio, Cezanne, Manet, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. The educational VR experience allows you to get closer than ever before to 5 stolen paintings from the aforementioned Masters.

Using a custom avatar, you can interact with each piece using a variety of useful tools. There’s a magnifying glass you can use to more closely inspect the art as well as a virtual tour guide there to provide additional details about each painting. Those in VR also appear to have access to several additional options, such as markers; presumably to add your own additions to each piece.

Initially when we thought about the environment of the museum, we thought about building something similar to a typical museum: fancy building with a lot of content around the art pieces,” said Compass CEO and cofounder Alexis Rockenbach. “We ended up choosing a completely different approach, a minimalist approach, where you in this dark space where the only thing you really are paying attention to is the art piece.”

“Exploring things that help you to interact with other people on that specific element that are not able to be done in the physical world are perhaps the most interesting thing that we will see coming,” he added.

The Stolen Art Museum is available now in VR on the Meta Quest though you will need to signup for access. Don’t worry, it’s 100% free. The experience is also available in standard 2D via compatible iOS and Android devices. The app currently supports two languages: English and Português.

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Image Credit: Compass UOL

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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