At long last, after closures that have stretched on for months, several museums around the world are beginning to reopen. Some institutions in China, South Korea, Switzerland, Japan, and Germany are already opened, and soon, select ones in Italy, Austria, France, and Denmark are expected to join them. (No major museum in the United States, however, has announced a reopening date yet, even though some states are beginning to ease social distancing restrictions.)
Because of the closures, many institutions have reported that they will have to weather significant financial losses, which in the United States has resulted in budget cuts and layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts. But in countries where museums have reopened, the art scenes are optimistic—even if business has been dramatically altered. At many reopened museums, social distancing measures have been instituted. Visitors are often required to reserve tickets online, and the number of people allowed inside the galleries at any one time has been severely limited. In some cases, museums are requiring mandatory temperature checks for visitors, and in China, some institutions are checking QR codes that monitor people’s health.
To survey some of the earliest museum reopenings, ARTnews assembled a slideshow of photographs showing the opening days of some museums in China, South Korea, and Germany, as well as preparations for reopenings currently underway by Swiss museums.