To mark the first anniversary of BeIT, a global campaign celebrating all things “Made in Italy,” the Consulate of Italy in Detroit has relaunched its LoveITDetroit metaverse as a free exhibition of modern Italian art.
“The Consulate of Italy in Detroit is believed to be the world’s first government entity to have its own metaverse, so we’re excited to launch the world’s first metaverse art show to be hosted by a government entity,” says Paola Allegra Baistrocchi, the Consul of Italy in Detroit. “Our consulate’s broader goals include highlighting a more contemporary and technological Italy, of which modern art and metaverse technology are perfect examples.”
The virtual gallery showcases 13 paintings from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Rome. When entering the LoveITDetroit metaverse, visitors create an avatar that then enables them to walk through the gallery, which is based on a design by world-famous architecture firm Palomba Serafini.
Art lovers can zoom in closely on individual paintings, providing an immersive experience, and the ability to explore artworks in greater detail than in a real-world gallery.
The 13 artworks on display in the LoveITDetroit metaverse are (alphabetically by artist):
Founded in 1883, National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art is Italy’s only national museum dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary art. With more than 20,000 works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations, the gallery offers a broad view of art from the nineteenth century to the present day.
“It’s wonderful that modern technology allows us to share great Italian modern art with art lovers not only in Detroit but across the U.S.,” says Baistrocchi. “When you’re not in Rome, the LoveITDetroit metaverse is the next best thing. Our consulate is grateful to Galleria Nazionale Director Cristiana Collu and her team for this world-first collaboration.”
BeIT — the first nation-branding campaign ever created for Italy — was launched in November 2021 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency. The global initiative has a particular focus on 26 countries, including the U.S.
“‘What is real, how do you define real?’ Morpheus asks Neo in a crucial scene of ‘The Matrix,’ while in the same movie a copy of Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 book ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ is shown,” says Collu.
“The hyperreal metaverse, with its digital and immersive capabilities, offers an opportunity to live experiences that are not only simulated, but also the chance to imagine a surprising world full of possibilities in real life.”

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