Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 14 July 2020

The surreal landscape of post-lockdown museums - in pictures

As some institutions around the world ease restrictions, museums adapt to life post-lockdown

As countries across Europe and Asia start to ease coronavirus-related restrictions, many institutions are beginning to consider opening their doors to the public again, albeit with a few added safety procedures in place.

Museums have been at the forefront of this gradual return to normality.

While each museum has its own spin on safety measures, most have set up hand-sanitizing stations around exhibition spaces. Many have clear markings on the floor advising visitors to keep a six-feet distance from one another. And, in most museums, visitors are required to wear protective masks.

China’s museums were among the first in the world to open their doors again after temporarily closing in January. A few museum, such as the Shanghai Museum, have installed scanners to check visitors’ temperatures before they enter the premises. The Palace Museum in Beijing, which sees almost 20 million visitors every year, has also reopened. However, only 5,000 people a day are allowed to enter the museum as employees ensure that social distancing is practiced.

The National Museum of Korea in Seoul reopened on Wednesday, May 6. However, the museum is capping its daily visitor limit at 300 people, and visitors are required to book their entry permits online before arriving.

In Europe, German museums have been among the first to reopen. In Berlin, museums were allowed to open from May 4, however many of them, such as the Berlinische Galerie, opted to open a week after restrictions were lifted to ensure safety measures could be properly applied. Other museums in Germany, such as the Gemaldegalerie and the Altes Museum, reopened on Tuesday, May 12.

France also began cautiously relaxing restrictions on Monday, May 11. For the first time in two months, the population can now leave their homes without the need of a permit. Small museums in France have been allowed to reopen – provided they put safety procedures in place.

In Switzerland, several museums also began reopening on Tuesday, May 11, with sheaths that have kept the artworks concealed for the last few months finally being removed.

It could certainly be a long while before we begin to see crowds amassing in exhibition halls, forming snaking queues to snap a photo of the Starry Sky or the Mona Lisa, but hearing that museums are reopening again will be uplifting news for art lovers.

Scroll through the gallery above to see post-lockdown pictures from museums around the world

Updated: May 14, 2020 02:35 PM

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