Notre-Dame exhibit on display in French Quarter

Laura Malagrino, Arcade Editor

“Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition” debuted on Nov. 15 at The Historic New Orleans Collection. The immersive experience takes viewers through Notre-Dame’s 850 year history from its construction to the restoration projects currently taking place, including live updates on the restoration efforts. The exhibition was shown in Paris, Dubai and Washington, D.C. before arriving in New Orleans.

For THNOC Communication Strategist Dave Walker, New Orleans is a fitting location for the traveling exhibition.

“There’s a natural connection between New Orleans and France and being in this space,” Walker said. “Learning the history of this iconic cathedral is a way to start making some of those connections. New Orleans has its own beautiful cathedral a block-and-a-half away.”

The traveling exhibition debuted in THNOC’s new exhibition center, equipped with interactive technologies that allow for immersive exhibitions such as “Notre-Dame de Paris.” The exhibition makes use of Histopads: tablets that ensure that each visitor is fully immersed in the experience at each station of the exhibition.

Image courtesy of THNOC

The exhibition is split between multiple rooms, each of which has the scannable images for the Histopad. Visitors can scan the icons by each display and learn about a key moment in the history of Notre-Dame through a 3D representation of the event, paired with text captions. 

“I think it’s something that will appeal to people at sort of every level, people who just want to sort of vibe and absorb the sensations of it will enjoy it, but then there’s also lots of reading to be had. Pretty much every scene has historical background and what people are saying,” Walker said.

The immersive experience allows visitors to take in the abundance of information in an alternative format, which is perfect for museum-goers who might need a change from the traditional format.

According to Walker, the exhibition will be particularly attractive to college students. 

“It [the exhibition] will be a new way of learning [and], for a lot of people, a new way of experiencing a museum,” Walker said. “I think someone who’s college age, who’s already immersed in that world of screens and technology, will appreciate how the story has been adapted to the technology.”

The exhibition will run from Nov. 15 to March 1 and will remain open during the Mardi Gras season. Admission is free, and the exhibit takes about an hour to go through. Free, timed admission can be reserved on the Historic New Orleans Collection’s website.

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