May 29, 2020
News

Museums and galleries in Seoul are re-shuttering due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The main hallway of Seoul’s National Museum of Korea. Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, via Flickr.

The main hallway of Seoul’s National Museum of Korea. Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, via Flickr.

Museums and galleries in Seoul have closed their doors, yet again, as the city sees a new spike in COVID-19 infections. Though South Korea began reopening before any other country in the world, largely due to its swift and efficient response to dealing with the pandemic, on Wednesday, the nation reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases it has seen in nearly two months.
Government officials have responded by enforcing another wave of shutdown measures in Seoul, where a majority of the new cases were reported. Beginning today, museums, art galleries, parks, and theaters will be shuttered for the next two weeks. The Seoul Museum of Art posted on its website that it is “temporarily closed for the safety of citizens and the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 disease.”
South Korea’s health minister, Park Neung-hoo, told the AFP:
We have decided to strengthen all quarantine measures in the metropolitan area for two weeks from tomorrow to June 14. The next two weeks are crucial to prevent the spread of the infection in the metropolitan area. We will have to return to social distancing if we fail.
Among the closed cultural institutions in Seoul are Buk-Seoul Museum of Art; Nam-Seoul Museum of Art; Paik Nam June Memorial Museum; SeMA Bunker; SeMA Warehouse; and SeMA Nanji Residency. Entertainment venues like bars and nightclubs, which have been determined as a possible cause for the spike, will also be temporarily closed.

Further Reading: As Galleries in Asia Reopen for Business, Health and Safety Are Top Priorities