Title:The Importance of a Virtual Museum in a Third World Country: The Experience of MUVA, Virtual Museum of Arts El Pais
Authors:Alicia Haber
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

This paper will address the experience of MUVA Museo Virtual de Artes El Pais, Virtual Museum of Arts El Pais [ in English and in Spanish]. The focus is on the experience of creating and developing a virtual museum in a peripheral and Third Word country. The construction of a real art museum like the outstanding ones in the First World would have cost a prohibitive sum for the Uruguayan economy. The Web was used to overcome financial limitations. Uruguay doesn't have a modern, big, state of the art museum but now it can have it, to an extent, in virtual reality. That is why MUVA is projected to give the sensation of being inside a real museum. Thus the building was designed by four architects commissioned for the MUVA and later built for Internet by graphic designers and webmasters. The visitor can actually walk inside the museum, take the elevator, go up the stairs. At the same Uruguay doesn't have the budget to organize several itinerary exhibitions per year and that is why many people do not know about Uruguayan art. MUVA exhibits original works of art photographed by a team of photographers from private collections and studios. It has the copyright and special permission. The aim in this case is to show works of art that are locked away from view and in private places that people usually don't have accesss to. Another important goal is to give opportunity to show their art to cutting edge artists from Uruguay. So from the beginning MUVA exhibits works of arts by Uruguayan masters and by emerging artists.