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The museums begin to reopen, but the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofía will do so in June

Madrid / Some museums, art galleries and exhibition halls have already reopened or announced their return with the arrival of phase 1 and 2 in Spanish territory, but to return to see the works hanging in the Prado, the Reina Sofía or Thyssen-Bornemisza will have to wait until June.

The three main Spanish museums, which closed their doors on March 12, have been preparing for weeks to transform their facilities to the new normal, although most of their workers continue to work from home, sources from the three art galleries have explained to EFE.

When the Government announced the de-escalation plan, these three art galleries, which form the so-called Madrid Art Triangle, already warned that their priority was security and announced that it would surely be later than allowed, so tomorrow, when Madrid enters the phase 1, will not reopen.

Everything indicates that the reopening will be in early June but everything depends on the epidemiological situation, according to sources from the three museums to EFE.

Tomorrow it will not reopen the twenty national museums dependent on the Ministry of Culture scattered throughout the national territory, such as the Sorolla Museum in Madrid, the El Greco Museum in Toledo, the Roman Art Museum in Mérida or the Altamira Museum in Cantabria. Last Friday the General Directorate of Fine Arts issued a new order to extend its closure until June 7.

This does not mean that they will not do it until then, they can do it earlier if they are prepared, but ministerial sources assure that although they can already reopen legally they need time not only to adapt their facilities but also to provide, for example, hydroalcoholic gel or masks that they will need your employees and visitors.

The new normality of art

The guidelines for the new normality of museums, small and large, are set by the Ministry of Culture, which has distributed a guide with recommendations. In addition to a reduction in capacity to 30 percent in phase 1, social distancing will mark new visits: two meters between each visitor, mandatory mask, individual visits except for people who live together, there will be no brochures, audio guides, or slogans.

Gel dispensers, protection screens will be installed in counters and the use of elevators will be restricted to exceptional cases. Online entry and card payment will also be promoted, among other measures.

Each museum and each art center is a world. It is not the same to adapt the facilities of the Prado Museum, the fifth largest in the world, than that of a small art foundation, where the route can be easily demarcated, or a museum with many showcases -which take away visiting space- than another with only pictures.

At the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, for example, the capacity has had to be calculated with the showcases of the exhibition “Giacometti-Rodin”, an exceptional exhibition of sculptures of both geniuses, which was only open for six weeks and will be extended until 23 of August.

The Mapfre Foundation will open as national museums between June 1 and 8, and it will do so with similar measures. “We are going to try to promote online ticket sales, and we have modified the schedule to make the visit easier,” Nadia Arroyo, director of the Foundation’s Culture Area, which will be open until 9:00 pm, tells EFE.

At the end of June, three of the sculptures in the exhibition – one of them “Giacomett’s” The Walking Man “- will have to go back to their lender, but the exhibition will continue.

And it is that in addition to adapting their facilities the museums work these days to reorganize their exhibition calendar, which has been completely disrupted.

In the case of Madrid, the magnificent “Rembrandt and the portrait of Amsterdam”, by Thyssen, and that of Mario Mertz, by the Reina Sofía, have been extended until the end of August, for example. “Guests” that could not be inaugurated in the Prado due to confinement will be relocated on the calendar, according to sources in the gallery.

At their starting points

After more than two months closed, little by little the museums begin to reopen or to set a date to do so. The first was the Botín Center in Santander two weeks ago, then came the IVAM in Valencia and the Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art in Seville, and this week several reference centers such as those in Malaga are expected to open.

The Picasso Museum, the Pompidou Center and the Carmen Thyssen from Malaga have set their opening this Tuesday, May 26, while in Bilbao, the Guggenheim and the Fine Arts, will do so on June 1.

The smallest museums in various regions have also reopened or will shortly reopen: in Madrid the CA2M or the Cervantes Birthplace are opening this week, and in Asturias and Murcia their museums are already fully operational.

Also most of the art galleries, which could open as a small business in phase 0, are mostly open from this week.

Among the measures taken to encourage visits are the cases of the IVAM, which has decided to make free admission until the end of the year, or the Picasso Museum in Malaga, which will allow the exhibition “Genealogies of art or art history as visual art” to be seen. ”, Also free.

These measures are essential in these early stages of de-escalation, as museums recognize that it may be difficult at first to reach 30 percent of the reduced capacity of the early stages. To the reluctance to visit public spaces is added the lack of the international visitor, which in the case of the Thyssen, the Reina and the Prado, accounts for 60 percent of the total visitors. (May 24, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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