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Louvre announces closure, as do more major museums worldwide

13 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Louvre announces closure, as do more major museums worldwide | The Louvre shut indefinitely at 6pm today after the French ministry of culture called on all France’s museums and libraries to either limit their activity or close to the public as it bans gatherings of more than 100 people; the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie have also closed as a result of the governmental directive. The ministry added that any non-essential meetings or business trips should be cancelled. Berlin is closing its museums, with plans to reassess the situation on 19 April. The announcement was made by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees all of Berlin’s state-run museums including those on Museum Island. Elsewhere in Europe, major museums in the Netherlands have announced their decision to close, including the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. in Amsterdam. The UK government has not advised museums to close.

National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian among US museums closing to contain coronavirus | The National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, both federal museums in Washington, D.C., have closed their doors to contain the spread of coronavirus. Several major New York museums announced plans to shut yesterday, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Frick, the Jewish Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim. Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner and Pace are among the city’s commercial galleries that have also decided to close temporarily. In Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Institute of Contemporary Art and Museum of Fine Arts have all shut down as of today, a decision announced by all four directors in a joint statement. The Art Institute of Chicago is staying open but has cancelled all its public events. 

Art Cologne postponed from April to November | The organisers of Art Cologne have announced their decision to postpone the fair from April to 19-22 November, which will coincide with Cologne Fine Art & Design. The North Rhine-Westphalia region, where the fair takes place, has banned large-scale events. Art Brussels, planned for April, will now take place from 25-28 June. The dates for the 12th edition of Dallas Art Fair have also been moved from April to the first week of October.

Museums start reopening in China, Japan and South Korea | China, Japan and South Korea are starting to reopen their museums, some of which have been closed since January. The Shanghai Museum and Power Station of Art, also in Shanghai, have already reopened today with restrictions on visitor numbers and newly enforced temperature checks for everyone passing through their doors. Museums in Beijing and elsewhere in China remain closed. In Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture’s Toyota Municipal Museum of Art are expected to open on 31 March. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea is currently scheduled to reopen at its four locations on 23 March.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.0; original image cropped)