Admont Abbey - Monastery library © Stefan Leitner

Admont Abbey achieves international breakthrough in cultural marketing

A co-operation with the Foreign Ministry opens the doors to the world's largest monastery library and the Museum of Contemporary Art at Admont Abbey.

Admont Abbey achieves international breakthrough in cultural marketing

Thursday, 24 June 2021

For two days, virtual tours of the baroque marvel and the special exhibition will be offered worldwide.

It is a collaboration that could hardly be more magnificent. The Austrian Cultural Forums are integrating Admont's monastery library and the special exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art into the global presentation of Austrian art and culture. The virtual tour of the cultural jewel will be available for two days at the end of June and beginning of July via the websites and social media channels of the focus centres of Austrian cultural work in countries including India, Italy, Canada, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Belgium, Romania and Germany: The Admont Abbey Museum thus acts as an ambassador for the Austrian cultural landscape. One reason for this is the diversity of art and cultural treasures that characterise the private museum in Upper Styria. "The Admont Abbey Museum houses art from the Middle Ages to the present day. In Austria, we were pioneers in promoting the dialogue between old and new art. An approach that has also earned us the Austrian Museum Prize," says Abbot Gerhard Hafner. True to the motto "Long live diversity", it will also be possible to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art virtually via Austrian Cultural Forums.

Specialised software for an interactive experience

However, a museum tour in virtual space is only possible thanks to sophisticated software. In February, the Benedictine Abbey and the Schladming-based company LightCyde launched the platform. According to Mario Brandmüller, Head of Culture, Tourism and Marketing at Admont Abbey, this combines the services of the Abbey Museum and other cultural institutions into a single digital package. The virtual tours through the world's largest monastery library and the Museum of Contemporary Art have now been selected from this wealth for international presentation: "The many possibilities and the outstanding quality, which goes far beyond the usual 3D presentation, are impressive. We are therefore delighted to be able to offer this special experience worldwide via the Austrian Cultural Forums," says Ambassador Dr Teresa Indjein, Head of the Section for International Cultural Affairs at the Ministry for European and International Affairs. The software was developed by the Upper Styrian company LightCyde, which is already working on further development just a few months after the official presentation of the new platform: "Page views are already going through the roof, which we attribute to the outstanding virtualisation and the numerous additional functions in the tours," says LightCyde boss Thomas Fischbacher. In the coming weeks, the software expert plans to present a further development of the platform that will offer virtual guests even more options.

Opportunity for beleaguered tourism

"However, a digital museum tour is by no means intended to replace a visit on site. Rather, it forms a bridge to the real cultural experience," emphasises Franz Pichler, the abbey's economic director, who sees the global presentation of the abbey museum as an opportunity for Styrian tourism as a whole. "As the Benedictine monastery's global reputation grows, Styria will certainly become more important as a tourist destination," says Pichler. Styria traditionally has a high proportion of domestic guests, which is around 64 per cent. The international presence of the Benedictine Abbey may soon also arouse the interest of foreign guests in a holiday in Styria.