Art Market

Some of France’s galleries and small museums may begin to reopen on May 11th.

Daria Simone Harper
Apr 30, 2020 4:37PM, via The Art Newspaper

A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Photo by Sean MacEntee via Flickr.

Some galleries and small museums in France may begin to reopen as early as May 11th, as the COVID-19 lockdown begins to lift in parts of the world. According to a report in The Art Newspaper, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe shared first-step plans in the country’s “deconfinement” strategy yesterday in parliament. The date of reopening will vary according to location, and gatherings of more than 10 people will be prohibited.

While government officials have not explicitly defined what qualifies as a “small museum,” they have noted that larger museums will not begin reopening until after June 2nd. The prime minister also plans to identify high and low risk areas on May 7th.

The Fondation Giacometti, a small institution in Paris that holds the world’s largest collection of works by Alberto Giacometti, plans to reopen its doors on May 15th. The foundation’s director, Catherine Grenier, told The Art Newspaper:

We’ve decided to open soon because it’s important to serve the public and reintroduce people to artworks after this virtual-viewing period and to say, symbolically, that the world is starting again and that culture is here. We’re asking people to register online to enable us to have small groups of 10 people every 20 minutes and to come wearing masks.

Galerie Templon plans to reopen on May 11th, and explained that its spacious gallery will provide ample room to practice social distancing. Others, like Galerie Chantal Crousel, plan to reopen slowly, accepting visitors on an appointment-only basis at first. Some small museums are waiting for further details from the culture ministry before determining when to reopen.

These plans to reopen France follow recent announcements from other European countries that are slowly beginning to ease lockdown restrictions. Earlier this week, Italy and Belgium announced plans to begin reopening museums in mid-May. A few days prior, Germany began welcoming visitors to museums in some less harshly impacted areas of the country.

Further Reading: How French Galleries Are Adapting to Survive the Pandemic

Further Reading: Ongoing Coverage of COVID-19’s Impact on the Art World

Daria Simone Harper