Asha Robles

Guam - Wouldn't it be nice to walk through a prestige gallery in Italy and appreciate masterpieces from some of the greatest artists of all time?  

Island residents will now have the opportunity to view some of the world's greatest masterpieces like The Annunciation from Leonardo Da Vinci and Sacred Family by Michelangelo without having to purchase a plane ticket. The Uffizi Virtual Museum recently opened on Guam, showcasing replicas of some of the most well known paintings in art history.

Honarary vice consulate of Italy Robert Fracassini told KUAM News, "Unfortunately, it's not possible to bring those paintings outside the country so the Hitachi Company made an arrangement with the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to make these incredible reproductions, digitally remastered for these life-sized so they can be preserved in the future just in case of emergency and also just so they can transported around the world."

Since the Uffizi museum is completely free to the public, donations are being accepted to help with keeping the museum open until their last operating day in September. "We decided to have free admissions because we want to encourage people to come in more than once," Fracassini further explained. "Of course, without having an entrance fee we had to raise the money somehow and we have a few options. We have Kickstarter  we so far have been very successful, but please help us - go to Kickstarter Uffizi."

Asides from Kickstarter, the museum will also be holding a silent auction for paintings that were donated to the museum from local artists. Unlike other museums here on island, the Uffizi brings a new twist to the concept of appreciating masterpieces of art by allowing guests a more affordable way of experiencing the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Italy with a virtual experience.

"The masterpiece navigation basically is a 42" touchscreen TV, it's like a huge iPod, where the ten masterpieces they can be projected and interacted. You can enlarge it, zoom in it so you can see all the most incredible details. This is extremely educational to those people who are into the arts," he explained.

The Uffizi Virtual Museum is now open daily from 10am to 8pm on the 2nd floor of the Underwater World complex in Tumon.