• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Google launches free virtual art website

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Google is launching a new project that lets people see artwork from all over the world without setting foot in a museum.

It uses the same Google technology that allows viewers to zoom in on any place on Earth. Now they can also roam through the halls of the world's most famous art galleries.

So far the free virtual website includes works from 17 museums and nearly 500 artists. It's perfect for art lovers who can't afford to travel to see the masterpieces for themselves.

"When I was in India, growing up in Bombay, I never got a chance to interact with these museums," said Amit Sood, head of the Google Art Project. "To go to these museums, to explore these artworks, I always just read about it. I just read about Van Gogh, I couldn't actually go to the Van Gogh museum. Now I can."

Each painting captured has between 7 billion to 14 billion pixels, which allow viewers to zoom in and see tiny details and brush strokes. Viewers can even create their own art collection to share with family and friends.