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Museums adapt to changing times amid coronavirus pandemic

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A woman looks at "Gas 1940" as part of the retrospective of Edward Hopper, one of the great American 20th century artists in 2012.
A woman looks at "Gas 1940" as part of the retrospective of Edward Hopper, one of the great American 20th century artists in 2012.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Francois Mori, File
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Museums are adapting to new coronavirus measures, with some due to reopen with hygiene measures in place and others offering virtual tours for those who want to continue appreciating art during coronavirus lockdowns.

In Switzerland, museums were allowed to reopen from May 11 with new measures in place to protect against COVID-19.

The Fondation Beyeler in Basel has introduced timed tickets to control crowds in the museum. Hand sanitiser and extra restrooms have been put in place in the museum as well.

Staff will be protected with plexiglass and masks and people will be asked to keep 2 metres from others while visiting the museum.

On display are the paintings of the American painter Edward Hopper, whose work many observers have already linked to today's atmosphere of social distancing.

"Hopper often shows people who seem like prisoners in their own homes, those who find themselves at home and see something that for us is invisible and that's very emblematic of this crisis," Ulf Küster, the exhibition curator, told AFP.

But even as many European countries begin to ease lockdown restrictions, not all museums are able to reopen.

So some are offering new, innovative ways to continue to see art exhibitions.

Paris' Louvre, for instance, has been offering virtual visits of the museum during France's lockdown.

Also in Paris, the Museum Jacquemart-André is now offering a 360 degree virtual tour of William Turner's paintings.

The 60 watercolours and 10 oil paintings featured in the exhibition are on loan from London's Tate Britain.

Even though France eased some lockdown measures on May 11, most museums are still closed in the country and are preparing to reopen in the coming weeks.