Museums in Italy and Belgium will start reopening in mid-May.
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Photo by Herbert Frank via Flickr.
Museums throughout Italy and Belgium will begin reopening in mid-May as governments gradually begin to lift COVID-19 lockdowns. Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has developed plans to reopen the country’s museums, libraries, and cultural sites beginning on May 18th. Meanwhile, Antwerp’s Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst (MHKA) announced plans to reopen its doors on May 19th, following guidelines from the National Security Council. In addition to the MHKA, the six museums that make up Brussels’s Royal Museums of Fine Arts are also slated to re-open.
In a live broadcast quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Conte stated:
Responsible behavior by each one of us will be fundamental. If we don’t respect the precautions, the curve will rise again, the deaths will mount and we will have irreversible damage to our economy. If you love Italy, keep your distance.
For both countries, the efficiency of these reopenings is contingent on the public’s adherence to stringent sanitation and safety measures. According to a report in The Art Newspaper, one Brussels newspaper is emphasizing the importance of maintaining social distancing beyond the lockdown. They also noted the need for increased testing and ensuring that citizens continue to wear face masks and disinfect.
The announcements from Italy and Belgium come as other countries around the world carefully begin to reopen. Just last week, museums and galleries in Germany started accepting visitors again, adhering to similar social distancing precautions.