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Art the drive-in – the museum turned motorcade in Rotterdam

7 August 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

These days, visiting a museum requires all manner of kit. Face mask, hand sanitiser, disposable gloves, perhaps, and car keys. Car keys? That’s right, if you drive an electric car and happen to be cruising through Rotterdam this month. Until 23 August, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has gone drive-thru, installing more than 40 works from its collection in a vast conference centre in the city and inviting the public to take a spin through one of its hangars while they browse the Bruce Naumans. Your correspondent only hopes that this is one museum that has its one-way system clearly signposted.

Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Gas-guzzling connoisseurs can leave their own charabancs at the door and borrow an electric vehicle from a local dealer. With luck no John Chamberlain imitators will be loitering in the car park.

The Boijmans drive-thru museum is not the only Covid-era cultural safari out there. In Toronto, an immersive Van Gogh exhibit now includes a ‘Gogh by Car’ opportunity; and in London, English National Opera is to stage an outdoor La bohème at Alexandra Palace in September. Ah, the tragic tale of Rodolfo and Mini!

In Venice, meanwhile, four wheels have never got you very far. Last week one of the docks of the Arsenale was given over to drive-in movies with a difference – this was ‘barch-in’ cinema, with space for 200 floating film-buffs on a maximum of 50 boats, all served Campari spritzes by bobbing baristas. One evening was given over to a mystery film: they screened Jaws.

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