4th September 1998 at 01:00
Giotto - The Scrovegni Chapel

http:www.pipeline.comwroye gallerygiottoarena.html

The Internet is chock-a-block with individuals, presumably quite well-off and with plenty of time on their hands, who design and build wonderful electronic galleries for their collections of electronic artworks.

This site - part of a much larger art site put together by a certain Roy Evans - is a case in point. Just as you would on a real visit to this incredible cycle of early 14th-century frescoes in Padua, you start outside the building. From there on, you can inspect individual panels, look around the chapel, or read about the subject of the frescoes and their place in Renaissance art history.

Why do I like this site so much? Because the Internet seems better at recapturing the intensity of Giotto's fabulous blue than any paper-based reproduction I've seen.

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

Anyone who has visited Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry will have been impressed not just by the scale of the place but also by the ingenuity of its staff in finding ways of bringing the science behind their exhibits alive for visitors, especially for children.

The same ingenuity is in evidence on the Web site, which uses all the latest Internet tools - including Shockwave animation - to entice the casual visitor.

Although you wonder whether virtual-reality software will ever be able to replicate, for example, the dankness of the museum's reconstructed Victorian sewer tunnel, this site does at least give you little games to play (find your way out of the sewer maze) instead.

The site also has the depth of information to satisfy serious researchers, with a textiles database in develop-ment. There are resources for teachers, graded by age group and curriculum area.

Aardman Animations

Aardman Animations is the Bristol-based independent production company responsible for turning Harbutt's Plasticine into a host of television celebrities and, latterly, Oscar-winning movie stars. If you don't remember Morph (big on children's TV in the early 1980s) you probably have come across his unnatural heirs, Wallace and Gromit.

This Web site, though, is more than just a fan's delight - it's also briskly informative on the art and craft of model animation. A guided tour of the Aardman studios, replete with video clips, will give budding animators a preview of what life is like in this curious branch of the media industry.

Bill Hicks

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