You might have read our past posts on Virtual Reality (here and here). But this article gives hope that VR may yet be a true saviour for what seemed likely to be lost heritage and treasures of human civilization.
Recently, we read an article on NatGeo featuring how many UNESCO heritage sites are at risk – from a variety of factors. And while we agree that the overburden on the sites from too high a volume of visitor traffic is one factor, what is also not frequently discussed is how some of these sites are in danger of totally disappearing.
Take Syria for example in the article link we cited.
As recent as earlier this year the conflict waged around the city of Palmrya brought not only suffering to people living around the city, but also upon the city itself. Much of the ancient city ruins (yep they already were) were further damaged, intentionally it seems reducing quite some of it literally into rubble. As if being ruins were not bad enough… And then there are sites where there had been so much stress from having too many visitors that damage is all but apparent. Rialto bridge….for example.
So here’s the thought.
Would it be better for the heritage sites to be preserved barred from human visitorship? And that the sites would be documented in such a way that one can purchase a virtual tour of the site, even remotely in the comfort of your own living room. That way, the site continues to receive funding from virtual visitors to maintain the site. Folks too may experience the joys of “being at” the sites without the travails of air travel (read here).
Would you become a virtual tourist? Do you think Virtual reality travel will be the savior when it comes to preserving memories of human civilization and heritage?