Google exhibit lets you explore the Sydney Opera House from your couch

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Nadezda Zavitaeva
You can get the full Sydney Opera House experience without even booking a plane ticket. Well, almost. Google has launched a new interactive feature on Google Maps that puts you inside the Opera House, one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

The online exhibit was launched by the Google Cultural Institute, which hosts virtual museums from all over the world, and through it you can check out more than 1,000 of the building’s artifacts. These include early architectural designs by Jørn Utzon, rare photos of the building in its early stages, and information about the Opera House’s massive mechanical organ, which is the largest in the world.

“The sculptural elegance of the Opera House has made it one of the most recognizable buildings of the 20th century,” said Kate Lauterbatch, program manager at the Google Cultural Institute, in a blog post. “In addition to exhibits which tell the stories of the history and development of this architectural masterpiece, today’s launch includes a brand new 360-degree experience offering insights into the between-the-acts magic of the House.”

The experience offers a 360-degree view of the backstage area, which can be looked at either online or using a virtual reality headset. There’s even see a virtual performance on the Opera House stage by Nicole Car and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. You can also wander around the outside of the building, taking in the view using new Street View imagery. All this reportedly took six months to put together.

Of course, the new exhibit isn’t the first breathtaking exhibit on offer through the Google Cultural Institute — it’s not even the first in Australia. The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian War Memorial have both also been put on display by the institute.

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