UPDATE (March 16, 2020): On March 13, museums in France including the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay have shuttered their institutions as authorities heighten precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Moreover, the Ministry of Culture has mandated that all museums and libraries limit the number of attendees to 100 people.
Reimbursement will be given to those who have already purchased tickets to the Louvre. As a result of the closure, the museum has also delayed the opening of two exhibitions. The first presentation, revolving around the works of German painter Albrecht Altdorferm, was originally slated to launch on April 23. The other show concerns an Italian Renaissance sculpture titled “The Body and the Soul: From Donatello to Michelangelo” which was initially planned for May 6. New dates have not yet been confirmed.
Courtesy of HYPEBEAST France, here’s a current list of closed museums in the country:
- Musée Louvre
- Musée d’Orsay
- Musée Rodin
- Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Palais de la Porte Dorée
- Cité des Sciences and the Palais de la Découverte
- Center Pompidou
- Musée de l’Orangerie
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs
- The Atelier des Lumières restricts Entrances
- The Arab World Institute
- Palace of Versailles
- Eiffel Tower
- Quai Branly Museum
- Museum of Decorative Arts
- Cartier Foundation
- Picasso Museum
UPDATE (March 5, 2020): The Louvre in Paris has reopened its doors following a three-day closure over coronavirus fears. According to the New York Times, a line of seemingly 600 people formed outside the Louvre on Wednesday to enter the museum. Not to mention, 3,500 tickets had been purchased online that same day after the museum announced the reopening on its website.
Staff had walked out of the museum on March 1 — having exercised their right to stay home under French legislation — after they expressed concerns for catching the coronavirus from one of the museum’s 30,000 daily attendees.
The museum’s management, doctor and staff representations had a meeting to go over measures to shield workers from the virus on Tuesday. The following day, employees voted to accept the conditions. The agreement included that ticket purchases will only occur through self-service machines, workers will be provided with hand sanitizer bottles, and staff will not handle cash, only credit card transactions.
A majority of the 2,300 management and employees voted to halt regular museum operations after expressing their fears of COVID-19 during an internal staff meeting, with only 2 opting to continue opening. Christian Galani, a staff member of the famed Parisian art museum, confirmed that management was not able to reassure the safety of their staff in the wake of the virus. “The Louvre is a confined space, which welcomes more than 5,000 people a day, there is real concern from the agents,” Galani said.
Employee and union representative Andre Sacristin also told AP that the various travel backgrounds of the Louvre’s visitors pose a threat to the health of the staff. “We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere. The risk is very, very, very great,” he said over the phone. Although none of the employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Sacristin notes that “it’s only a question of time.”
COVID-19 has forced several postponements and cancellations of events around the world, along with the temporary halt of production from the likes of big tech giants like Apple — Art Basel announced the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong in early February, the International Olympic Committee are mulling over cancelling the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the Seoul Metropolitan Government has completely shut down Seoul Fashion Week FW2020.
Elsewhere in art, Daniel Arsham has revealed his second collaboration with Hajime Sorayama.
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