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Newport Mansion tour goes virtual amid coronavirus outbreak

East Bay

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — If you’ve never had a chance to tour Newport’s historic mansions, you can now do it from the comfort and safety of your home.

The Preservation Society of Newport has launched a virtual tour of one of the mansions, along with the Audubon and Tiffany Exhibitions.

“This is an opportunity to delve into things you may have never delved into before because we have no option but to stay at home,” said Trudy Coxe, the Preservation Society’s CEO and executive director.

Coxe said the group was already in the process of bringing history online but the coronavirus pandemic expedited the process.

“We now have a tour of the Elms, we are bringing other tours of other houses online, and we have two exhibitions that were from the past online as well,” she added.

Sèbastien Dutton, one of the Preservation Society’s 2020 research fellows, led the process of getting every angle and detail online.

“He goes from room to room, the moment you walk into the Elms, up the steps, you see the ceiling, the ballroom,” Coxe explained. “It’s phenomenal.”

Sèbastien Dutton, 2020 research fellow, led the virtual process

Coxe said she hopes the tours will be an opportunity for individuals and families to lift their spirits while learning something new at the same time.

“I think art is very restorative. I think it gives us a chance to step out of our lives and the worry of our lives and enjoy beauty,” she said. “This is the prime time to give that time and restoration to people that are worried.”

The virtual tour is free to the public.

The Preservation Society broke records in the last few seasons, bringing in more than a million visitors each year.

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