The vaunted galleries and chandeliered corridors of museums across the world have opened virtual doors to art lovers using the technology behind Google Street View.
Art Project allows internet users to wander virtually through 385 rooms in 17 fine art institutions, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery in London and the Metropolitan in New York. More than 1,000 works have been scanned in detail, allowing online visitors to zoom in on paintings.
Googleartproject.com was launched yesterday at the Tate Britain, another of the galleries featured on the site. It was created as one of Google's "20 Per Cent" projects, whereby employees can spend a fifth of their time at work developing innovations of their own choice.