Thanks to your phone, stoic statues in Denmark and England now get chatty. In Copenhagen, the Talking Statues program uses animation to light the eyes, move the lips, and cue the stories (in English and Danish) of ten bronzed icons around thecity, through QR codes that launch the videos on a smartphone. Hans Christian Andersen tells tales by his namesake boulevard while astronomer Tycho Brahe describes his studies of the universe outside the Copenhagen Observatory.
In London and Manchester, a smartphone scan at various monuments prompts an immediate call from Sherlock Holmes raising suspicion about his surroundings, Peter Pan chiming in from Neverland, or Queen Victoria giggling about her successes. In this new interactive project, also named Talking Statues, sculptures find their voices with help from local actors and writers.
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler print magazine.