How Web3 Technology Can Help Historic Sites

Metaverse events in ancient and historical sites may soon take shape to become an alternative future for tourism.

Owners of physical castles and villas who have drawn up augmented reality plans of their properties believe that their ambitious plans to attract visitors in the meta-verse will work as virtual events can help them pay the big maintenance bills for their aging properties and also offer a chance to change historical narratives.

The metaverse tourism model was accelerated by downturns in tourism caused by COVID-19, but the industry may have already been heading that way.

At the moment, large metaverse platforms are clumsy, difficult to use and waiting for more “real estate” development, but companies are concentrating on what could be. Brands seem to go into the metaverse galore just for PR bragging.

So it seems that the opportunity to learn existing, new and revised stories through the meta-verse is not so distant.

Non-fungible castles, villas and palaces

Michelle Choi, founder of 3.O Labs – a Web3 venture lab – turned to digital options to fund the maintenance of physical paintings, such as the sale of non-fungible tokens or NFTs, as fundraisers to preserve illiquid assets .

Choi was product manager at Google when she noticed the downturn in museum tourism due to COVID-19 when she saw it as an opportunity for future metavers. She subsequently quit her job and started her own metaverse experiments.

She began working with a team to launch Non-Fungible Castle, an NFT exhibition and auction in Lobkowicz Palace, a real castle in Prague, held in October 2021. The event saw NFTs displayed next to 500-year-old paintings and aimed to “expand the accessibility of cultural heritage.”

The launch raised enough to cover the restoration of all urgent projects on the property. Motivated by this proof-of-concept, Choi and 3.O Labs are now busy curing metaverse tourism experiences globally.

With the broader mission of making Web3 accessible to all users, 3.O Labs already incubates a range of Web3 projects ranging from NFTs to decentralized autonomous organizations or DAOs. Within its metaverse vertical, the venture laboratory is already building a project in a castle in Germany, which will be followed by a villa in India and then possibly a museum in Ghana.

Lobkowicz Palace. Source: Prague Morning

Choi told the Cointelegraph about her long-term vision for metaverse travel:

“Travel will be expanded as a teaching tool. In the past, tourism meant visiting a place. Images were 2D, but 3D travel then emerged with virtual headsets. 4D time experimentation is now possible. Now we can pair different time periods. There is a teaching angle. ”

This raises a number of questions about what new stories will be created in the metaverse.

Will the story be rewritten in the metaverse?

For better or worse, tourism companies, educational platforms and museums could recreate history in the metaverse.

Priyadarshini Raje Scindia’s family owns Jai Vilas Palace, a 200 year old palace that has become a museum in Madhya Pradesh, India. She is planning an NFT collection produced by local artists to fund a metavers experience. COVID-19 closed her museum for two years, leaving time for some necessary – but expensive – restoration work.

Scindia told the Cointelegraph that NFTs should be embraced as art, as “Every generation has its art and its interpretation. This is a new medium and a new platform for hungry, new Indian artists.” She added that “there should be no barriers around art creation.”

Scindia is convinced that the metaverse is the future, as “a person usually visits a museum once”, but they can visit several times in the metaverse. She says that especially in India, museums are not the first destination people think of going to for entertainment. Private museums in small towns can be taken for granted, especially compared to shopping malls and cinemas. So she works with 3.O Labs to “create immersive experiences – for example, animations that allow you to put yourself in short story documentaries.” It is about opening more doors for conversations and education.

Scindia also has a story to tell the world via the meta-verse:

“I disagree with my family history. We have rooms with research documents in the palace. Now is the right time and the right platform to correct the story.”

She told the Cointelegraph that the historical narrative she would like to paint with her immersive experiences is “to tell the true story of my clan, the Maharatas. Retells the story told by the British, which sounds like a Game of Thrones book – dark and barbaric We fought for independence from all external forces, yet it was made out that we fought against Indians in India. It is a historical fact that the Maharatas were India’s rulers after Mughals. And their narrative and value system is even more important to study. and understand today. I want to use the platform to change the narrative through art, culture and history. “

“I disagree with the way Maratha’s story is portrayed. But today there is a renewed interest, perhaps because of the cinema’s glamor, but there is also a new world out there. People have a deep interest in history today and are rediscovering art. and history. Metaverset can be the right platform to inform and educate people, create interest so they can start their own journey with a deep dive into history, art and culture through this amazing world. ”

Jai Vilas Palace. Source: Mohitkjain123

DAOs for castles, villas and castle restorations

Prince Heinrich Donatus of the Schaumburg-Lippe family owns Bueckeburg Castle, a castle in northern Germany, 45 minutes from Hanover. Schaumburg-Lippe was one of the 16 ruling families in the German Empire until 1918. Later, the British Army of the Rhine confiscated the castle to use it as headquarters from 1948 to 1953. It had previously been under American control after the end of World War II. in 1945 until Germany’s occupation zones were established.

A bullet hole in the outbuilding serves as a reminder of the castle’s recent history. The Americans were the first to arrive in Bueckeburg during the war, and their tank grenades penetrating the dome can still be seen at the castle museum. The family exhibits the shell and has left the hole in the ceiling as a memorial to the war.

Donatus has the same idea as Scindia: a metaverse to historical preservation.

Bueckeberg Castle. Source: Trip Advisor

Donatus, who co-founded 3.O Labs with Choi, will soon run an NFT exhibition and a DAO-focused hacker house at the castle. He told the Cointelegraph that “Metaverset is not a virtual reality world. It is a new economy. For example, the incentive to go into metaverset could be to protect a castle.”

But why support noble families in 2022?

For illiquid assets such as scattered estates, the cost of maintenance can offset a family’s cash flow. The preservation of privately owned sites of historical significance is therefore a significant challenge for owners and a national or global public good.

In 2001, Donatus’ grandfather sold a castle for 1 euro, and the new owner’s recent two attempts to sell the same castle for 1 euro failed to find a buyer. Donatus added:

“Foreigners who buy European castles give up after a year when they realize what is involved.”

“Bueckeburg Castle is not meant to be inhabited anymore – it’s primarily a cultural place,” Donatus said, “We have the sole responsibility for maintaining this history, working with limited resources, and suddenly resources can be vastly improved and crowd -sourced. “

“Virtual tours can be profitable, though metaverse ideas can take years to pay back,” Choi noted. “But in the long run, there is no maintenance or air conditioning cost for the metaverse.”

Donatus said he foresees the launch of the DAO treasury for renovations, akin to a “people’s UNESCO” – a reference to the UN agency tasked with protecting sites of cultural and historical significance.

DAOs are not limited by borders and this can create network effects for new models of tourism. “A kind of PleasrDAO for castles,” Donatus said. “They will include decentralized access / stewardship of castles and castle hackathons – as castles are a cool place for meetings.”

Augmented 4D metaverse events

Historical storytelling and experiences can also be extended to create surrealistic and impossible scenarios.

“I do not want under any circumstances to experience things I can experience in the real world,” Donatus said. “The meta-verse can recreate and preserve the past.” He said one could create a “tennis match in a ballroom at the Palace of Versailles as a major tourist destination.”

Choi said: “In the meta-verse, we can upload weapons and recreate wars for historical educational purposes.” Historical reconstructions with reconstructed weapons are taking place all over the world, including in the United States, Germany, Russia, Britain and Italy, and there may be many future learning moments in the metaverse.

If metavers really are the future, the planning of their rules and composition starts now. That is why, for example, a group of native Australians are planning to set up an embassy in the metaverse. Mixing the old and the new is seemingly flimsy, but it all depends on how bullish one is about the significance of the cultural totems in the metavers of the future.

As metavers become new models for tourism, they can also rewrite history in the process.