Extended Reality for Enhancing Cultural Heritage Accessibility


P Eva Pietroni

Eva Pietroni

CNR ISPC (Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale)

G Carola Gatto

Carola Gatto

AVR Lab - University of Salento


In recent years, the integration of Extended Reality (XR) technologies has shown different possibilities of fruition in the cultural heritage field, and one promising application lies in cultural heritage accessibility. This special session aims to explore the potential of XR in making cultural heritage sites, artifacts, and experiences more accessible to diverse audiences. XR encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), which can offer immersive and interactive experiences that transcend physical limitations. Through this session, researchers can propose new studies about the use of XR technologies to preserve, present, and interpret cultural heritage, fostering inclusivity and engagement among individuals with different backgrounds. Topics of interest include but are not limited to XR-enhanced museum exhibits, virtual museum, accessible archaeological reconstructions, richness of content, immersive historical narratives, universal design solutions and tangible interfaces, and user-centered design approaches.


The special session addressed, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • User-Centered Design and XR for Cultural Heritage Accessibility
  • Design for all & XR in Museums
  • Multi-Sensory Integration in XR for Visually/Auditorily Impaired Users
  • Collaborative Approaches in XR Development for Accessibility
  • Ethical Representation in Cultural Heritage XR
  • Evaluating Effectiveness of XR in Accessibility
  • XR Education Programs for Cultural Heritage Awareness
  • Digital Preservation and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Sites
  • Storytelling Strategies in XR Cultural Heritage Experiences
  • Adaptive Interfaces and Personalized XR Experiences
  • Future Trends in XR and Cultural Heritage Accessibility


Eva Pietroni is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Heritage Science of CNR, conservator of Cultural Heritage, art historian and musician. Her research concerns virtual museums and museum technologies, user experience design, digitization, virtual reconstructions, virtual reality and new forms of narration and interaction based on the hybridization of media. Research into the perceptual and cognitive aspects of cultural transmission is constantly supported by surveys to assess the public's experience of digital applications offered in museums.

Carola Gatto is currently Postdoc at the Augmented and Virtual Reality Laboratory (AVR Lab), of Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, in the european project entitled "E.T.E.R.I.A.-Enhance Transborder Experiences, Rebuild Interaction" about Immersive Technologies and Video Mapping for the Performing Arts and Cultural Heritage. In 2023, she received a PhD in Cultural Heritage Sciences from the University of Salento. The research project focused on digital curation and transformation in the museum field, with a focus on Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies for the enhancement and enjoyment of cultural heritage, and the relationship between well-being and museums.
She is the author of several scientific publications. She is part of the Italian working group “Multimedia and Emerging Technologies” of ICOM.
She is currently coordinator of the “Young researchers group” at the Digital Humanities Centre of the University of Salento.