- Title: London's National Gallery set to reopen after lockdown
- Date: 4th July 2020
- Summary: ONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) JOURNALISTS AND NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS) WORKERS LOOKING AT PAINTINGS IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY / PAINTINGS DETAIL OF PAINTING VISITOR SITTING ON BENCH WEARING A MASK VARIOUS OF VISITOR LOOKING AT PAINTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY, CAROLINE CAMPBELL, SAYING: "The National Gallery has been closed for over 100 days. It's the longest period we've ever been closed in our nearly 200 year history. It feels amazing to be able to be open safely again and to begin to let people back to see their favourite pictures. This is a collection which means a lot to many people across the world and it's going to be marvellous from July 8, to allow our visitors in again." SEATING AREA IN GALLERY SIGN READING (English): "MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING" VARIOUS OF ARROWS ON THE FLOOR SHOWING ONE-WAY ROUTES AROUND THE GALLERY SIGN READING (English): "MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING" SEATING AREA / VISITOR WALKING PAST ART WORKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY, CAROLINE CAMPBELL, SAYING: "Locking the doors wasn't so difficult, but planning the return has been complicated and largely our decisions have been guided by safety. We want people to have a safe experience. So we have followed the advice of Public Health England and also of the government, and so we've had to introduce some changes for visitors when they come. We've got three art routes - visitors have to follow those routes. There's a one way system. They can see almost every picture in the building if they if they follow those routes, or they can pick and choose one or other of them. So people will be able to come back and see, again the pictures they love, such as the great Baroque pictures in the gallery we're standing in now. They'll be able to see some new things too - a wonderful painting by Liotard, a French artist; a pastel we've just acquired; a great Restoration treatment, the portrait of Charles the First on horseback - the huge picture has gone back on view after a restoration of two years. And the room we're standing in, the Julia and Hans Rausing Room, has been reopened after almost three years of closure. So there are lots of old friends to see at the National Gallery and new things to see, too." VARIOUS OF VISITORS LOOKING AT PAINTINGS VARIOUS OF PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN PAINTINGS ON DISPLAY VISITOR LOOKING AT HUGE PORTRAIT OF CHARLES 1ST ON HORSEBACK BY ANTHONY VAN DYCK VARIOUS OF PORTRAIT (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY, CAROLINE CAMPBELL, SAYING: "We are a state funded museum, partly, but obviously there have been hits to our income, but we are really, really happy to be able to open again and to do what we're supposed to do, which is connect pictures and people. We've had a great digital programme during our period of closure and we'll continue that because we're expecting that people will be able to visit the gallery physically, but they'll also be able to visit us remotely. And we've seen through the lockdown that that's possible. And many more people - lots of people - have been engaging with the collection that way, too, through talks by curators, through sessions with our educators,; people doing things in their home, making things based on National Gallery pictures. That's been really inspiring, actually, to watch." INTERIOR OF GALLERY VARIOUS OF STAFF MEMBERS WEARING VISORS TALKING VARIOUS OF PAINTINGS ON DISPLAY VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF GALLERY
- Embargoed: 18th July 2020 16:55
- Keywords: COVID-19 National Gallery art coroanvirus easing restrictions gallery lockdown museum paintings pandemic reopening
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLE82FB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: After the longest closure in its nearly 200-year existence, the National Gallery in London will reopen to the public on Wednesday (July 8) with precautions in place to reduce COVID-19 risks.
The gallery will have been closed for more than 100 days, after shutting its doors in March.
On Saturday (July 4) it was opened for a few selected journalists and health workers as a test run before the public are readmitted.
According to its Director for Collections and Research, Caroline Campbell, tickets will have to be purchased online, opening hours will be reduced from eight to five and will only cater to a small proportion of its normal visitors.
Once at the gallery, visitors will have to follow one of three one-way routes and will be encouraged to wear face coverings and keep at least two metres apart.
The gallery has also extended its temporary exhibitions on Titian and Nicolaes Maes after they were disrupted by the lockdown.
High-efficiency filters have also been installed in the gallery's air conditioning system, while perspex panels have been placed at visitor desks. Hand sanitiser stations and enhanced cleaning procedures are in place throughout.
The National Gallery will be the first national institution to reopen in the UK but will be followed suit by other museums in the next few weeks.
(Production: Gerhard Mey, Ben Makori, Ben Dangerfield)
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