A list of 19 museums and exhibitions that have begun welcoming visitors into their exhibition spaces as of May 2021 and their mandatory safety measures.
Written by Dima Stouhi
After being shut down for more than a year, museums across the world are beginning to show signs of reopening. Most architecture and design events that were scheduled for 2020 have been pushed a year or two, depending on the severity of the pandemic in their respective regions. But while museums are open to the public once again, administrators have installed numerous precaution measures to ensure the safety of visitors and curators, and to avoid potential re-closures.
As international travels have been revived by government officials, and tourism is expected to recover gradually, read on to discover 19 museums and exhibitions that have begun welcoming visitors into their exhibition spaces as of May 2021, and the procedures required from the attendees before and during visitations.
In pre-pandemic days, museums welcomed around 15,000 visitors a day during peak tourism season, but as of recent, daily numbers were dropped down to almost 5,000 to ensure that visitors remain distant from one another. In addition to limited capacity, museums launched online booking to avoid lengthy cue lines at the entrance and human-to-human interaction. Safety measures were also implemented by curators, as they have limited installations with tactile experiences to avoid contamination. Several museums, however, have decided to remain closed until further notice.
The 2021 Venice Biennale, which was postponed last year due to the pandemic, witnessed a physical opening on May 22nd. This year’s curator Hashim Sarkis, explained how the pandemic affected the Biennale and the procedures they had to follow to ensure a safe continuation of the exhibition. Hopeful and optimistic that it finally took place, Sarkis explained to ArchDaily that nothing can really be a substitute to the sensory tactile experience that physical events can bring and that the digital world is complementary to the on-site event.
“The postponement was a difficult but wise decision on the part of Roberto Cicutto, the Biennale President, and the Biennale leadership. They only took it after we gathered extensive feedback from the participants and national curators. Securing the health and safety of everybody involved was more important than securing the opening date. The participants and the curators of the national pavilions have been extremely patient and collaborative throughout this whole period. A sense of solidarity is growing among us”.
However, several countries were unable to participate in the 2021 Venice Biennale due to the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic in their countries, while others opted for a more minimal presence at the exhibition, relying on websites and QR codes to access their pavilions.