A remarkable way for the visually impaired to sample the masterpieces

The No. 1 unspoken rule in an art museum: Don’t touch. Museum guards are strategically placed throughout museums to ensure harmful oils on visitors’ hands won’t corrode artwork.

But at the current exhibition at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, touching is encouraged.

Works from masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Goya, and El Greco can be felt at the exhibition for the museum’s visually impaired guests. It features six three-dimensional works from different genres created using a technique called “Didu” that adds volume and texture. The works are accompanied by text in written in Braille. The museum’s sighted guests can experience the exhibit with darkened glasses and an accompanying audio guide.

“Developed in collaboration with professionals in the sector of visual impairment,” reads the exhibition’s text, “this project allows for the reality of the painting to be perceived in order to mentally recreate it as a whole and thus provide an emotional perception of the work. Non-sighted visitors will be able to obtain a heightened degree of artistic-aesthetic-creative enjoyment in order to explain, discuss and analyze these works in the Prado.”

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