European authorities are taking tough measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, urging residents to limit contact with other people as much as possible. Many European museums supported this measure by quarantining.
The largest quarantine introduced in Italy. Officially, all the museums of the country are closed at least until April 3, including the Uffizi Gallery, where an exhibition of the work of Raphael, dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist, took place. In Italy, there are more cases of COVID-19 virus infection than in other EU countries.
The Louvre Museum, the most visited museum in the world, was quarantined indefinitely. In the first weeks of March, the museum limited its visit, but after the official ban on events designed for 100 people or more, the museum management decided to impose a full quarantine, despite the protests of tourists. Versailles Palace, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and Grand Palais in France, and the Eiffel Tower also closed in Paris.
The Spanish Ministry of Culture has closed all state museums in Madrid, including the Prado and the Reina Sofia Art Center; In total, 13 museums are “quarantined” in the country. State museums also suspended work in Estonia (there quarantine can last until May 1), Lithuania (until March 27), Austria (until April 4), Poland and the Czech Republic (until early April), Bulgaria (until April 13), museums in Ireland will be closed until 29 March as well as in Berlin (at least until April 20) and Budapest (for an indefinite period). Museums and archaeological sites in Greece will remain closed until 30 March.
On 13 March, the Federal Council of Switzerland banned public or private events with more than 100 people until the end of April, encompassing museums. The privately run Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, near Basel, will be closed until further notice, while the Kunsthaus Zürich says it will determine whether a “partial opening is possible in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Council”.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Portugal will be closed until 3 April and the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology until a date to be announced.
The largest museums in the Netherlands closed until March 31 – including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank Museum, the City Museum of Amsterdam Stedelijk and the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, famous for its collections of paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt.
Museum directors in Austria decided to close all federal public museums until at least the end of March, in response to sweeping precautionary measures announced by the government.
In Denmark, some museums also decided to close the doors for visitors for safety. So, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek will be closed until March 27, and the Copenhagen Museum of Art New Carlsberg Glyptotek – until March 30.
Many museums urge art lovers to replace a real visit with a virtual visit. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the famous art gallery in Madrid, even created a microsite with an up-to-date Rembrandt exhibition especially for those who planned to visit it, but could not because of the pandemic.
Experience the best museums from all over the world in the comfort of your own home as museums offer virtual tours to replace a real visit.