April 3rd, 2012
12:30 AM ET
In what the Obama administration is describing as another step in its attempts to increase the public's access to the White House, the First Lady’s office announced on Tuesday that the Google Art Project will be creating a virtual 360-degree tour of the historic building’s public rooms.
Launched in early 2011, the Google Art Project provides virtual tours of many of the world’s preeminent art museums. As a public museum, a private residence, and the executive office of the President, the White House fills many roles. It will join museums like the National Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Google's site.
The statement from the First Lady's office announcing the partnership included quotes from a video address featuring Michelle Obama will be posted on the Google Art Project’s White House site. In the remarks, the first lady emphasizes the White House’s role as “the people’s house.”
“Thousands of people have walked these halls and gazed at the artwork,” Mrs. Obama will say in the video. “They’ve examined the portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. They’ve imagined the history that’s unfolded here. And now you can do all of that without leaving your home. So go ahead, look around, enjoy the history and the beauty of these rooms. Because after all, this is your house, too.”
The release announcing the new partnership between the White House and Google goes on to explain that “the White House is the only building in the world that is simultaneously the home of a head of state, the executive office of a head of state, and is regularly open to the public for tours.”
Check out the tour at the Google Art Project.