Today sees the launch of The Crypt, a new and unique art museum that will be part of a series of virtual reality attractions on a brand-new entertainment platform called ‘Virtually’, which opens to the public 5pm BST/ 9am PST. Driven by a spirit of creative excellence and technical innovation, The Crypt will collect, curate and present collectables spanning the fields of modern art, literature, music, photography, sculpture, and digital media in a uniquely designed virtual space.

The Crypt is an original concept by entrepreneurs Jonathan Sands, Alex Suchet and Rick Senat. Home to a collection of rare mixed media artefacts that you can either walk around, appreciate and enjoy and in a lot of cases purchase as an NFT, The Crypt is meticulously curated for collectors and connoisseurs. Free to visit, its opening exhibitions span abstract painting to photography to screen memorabilia, and its creators envision the space playing host to everything from fine art to fashion and even live performance in the future.

“We are responding to a fast-changing world where creatives are back in the driving seat, and one in which there are no boundaries”, says Sands. “The Crypt is able to offer artists, authors, brands and franchises greater control by providing dedicated exhibitions and environments on any scale and with an NFT capability, so it can act as a home and creative hub for harnessing innovation and vision. At the same time, what we’ve created is a beautiful virtual world in which visitors can explore and appreciate the work, and even interact with one another.”

The beautiful, spiralling staircase of The Crypt’s blank canvas space wraps around an atrium, in a stunning and deliberately challenging architectural design that evokes a sleek modern take on Escher or del Prete. Additional touches aim to immerse visitors in the venue with a sense of real place and time; a skylight overhead operates a day-and-night cycle to reflect the passage of time, and the whole experience is underpinned by a soundtrack composed especially for the space.

The Crypt’s digital sandbox capabilities push boundaries for artists and art-lovers, offering a potentially infinite space for bespoke-built exhibitions. Created on a sophisticated, self-developed virtual reality platform, the design aims to deliver a unique visitor journey that provides a deeper look inside the artists and their subjects. Many rarities are available for immediate purchase or live auction, offering a new experience for discovering and purchasing NFT artwork.

Accessible on browser, mobile and coming soon to VR headsets, The Crypt’s multi-user function enables group visits via private invitation links, allowing up to 10 people to experience the venue and its exhibitions together and use live voice chat to talk to one another as they explore the spaces.

The Crypt will be the first virtual visitor attraction in the new Virtually World being created by Virtually Holdings Ltd with development extending to a Virtually – shopping mall, Music Hall of Fame, Sports Village and Gaming Centre. The Virtually Group will be offsetting carbon emissions associated with each sale in its commitment to the environment.

The Crypt will host six exhibitions at launch:

FLASHBACK (Signalnoise)
Nostalgia is a sentimental yearning to return to a past period of time. It means something different to everyone, but through the lens of pop culture, we can find common ground. A favourite video game, movie or song that instantly teleports us back to our childhood… a bygone era we’d long to re-visit. FLASHBACK by Signalnoise pays homage to the 1980s technology that conjured and recorded memories held close to the artist’s heart.

Alternate Dimensions (Margaret Garrett)
A selection of some of the most highly regarded pieces from the interdisciplinary American artist, whose abstract paintings, videos and works on paper explore movement, shape, rhythm, and the unfolding of contrapuntal patterns. Includes paintings and films like ‘Drawings in Red’ and Magic Hour.

The Making of Heroes (curated by The Crypt)
From the personal archive of Maurice ‘Mo’ Gillett, one of Hollywood’s most respected gaffers (chief electricians), this exhibition curates behind-the-scenes photographs of some of our favourite screen heroes and special moments, including many images never before seen by the public. Born in 1928, Gillett’s career encompassed work on some of the most iconic films of all time, including Oliver, Half a Sixpence, Out of Africa, Superman and Batman.

Unseen Histories (Jordan J. Lloyd)
Unseen Histories introduces Jordan J. Lloyd’s colourised photography, seamlessly blending historical research and digital artistry to create remastered, authentic interpretations of iconic historical black and white photographs, including never before seen unique one-off works created to celebrate the inauguration of The Crypt.

Hollywood Greats (Private Collection)
A series of beautiful photographic stills from Ernest Bacharach, George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull, who captured some of the most stunning portraits from the Golden Age of Hollywood. This Private Collection of Photographs presents some of the great actors of our time including Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, capturing beautiful moments both on and off camera.

One Giant Leap (Prop Store) – Coming Soon
A teaser for the forthcoming exhibition that will present some of the most iconic Space Suits from the big screen, this exhibit reveals a full 3D digital representation of the spacesuit worn by Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in Star Trek – The Motion Picture(1979), that has been meticulously scanned and reproduced. This will be followed by Kane’s (John Hurt) from Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), Sam Bell’s (Sam Rockwell) worn in Moon (2009) and many more. Some of these may be available exclusively through The Crypt as NFTs at a later date.