Museums Are Reopening Around the World, But Visiting Them Is Now Very… Odd. See Surreal Images of Post-Lockdown Museums

As cities around the world ease lockdown restrictions, museums are slowly beginning to open back up.

This picture taken on May 13, 2020 shows a social distance marker on the floor of the Museum of Illusion in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken on May 13, 2020 shows a social distance marker on the floor of the Museum of Illusion in Paris. Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images.

April showers usually bring May flowers, but this year the seasonal change is even more glorious, as it’s coinciding with some—though certainly not all—reopenings of museums and other cultural sites to the public. After the economy and institutions in cities around the world took a hit during lockdown, select cities are tentatively reopening communal spaces including art galleries and museums.

But just because visitors are have returned, it doesn’t mean things look like the beforetimes. Museums in Germany, South Korea, China, Switzerland, and Poland are among the first to ease restrictions, though with some marked changes: Everyone is wearing protective face masks, hand-santizing stations are omnipresent, and markers on floors now denote six-feet-apart social distancing recommendations.

Below, see some of the surreal images of how museum visits around the world now look.

A visitor looking at Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker at the Alte Nationalgalerie museum in Berlin. Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images.

The newly reopened Haus Der Kunst art museum on the first day the museum reopened to the public in Munich. Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images.

A visitor at the Alte Pinakothek on the first day the museum reopened in Munich. Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images.

Visitors at the Old Masters Gallery at the Zwinger palace complex in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)

Visitors at the Old Masters Gallery at the Zwinger palace complex in Dresden, Germany. Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images.

Tape marks social distancing guidelines at Gropius Bau museum on May 11 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Tape marks social distancing guidelines at Gropius Bau museum on May 11 in Berlin. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Visitors come to the Old National Gallery in Berlin. Photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images.

A lady wearing a face visor during her visit to the Barbican Museum in Krakow, Poland. Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A visitor at the reopening of the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images.

A visitor checks out roman busts at the Altes Museum (Old Museum) in Berlin Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images.

Visitors wearing face masks look at paintings at the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) museum in Berlin. Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images.

Markers show visitors where to stand for social distancing in Seoul. Photo by Jong Hyun Kim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Visitors wearing face masks wait in line to enter an exhibition hall at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images.

National Museum of Korea is re-opened to public with increased health measures. Photo by Jong Hyun Kim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Visitors browse in the starry Art Museum. Shanghai, China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images.

Visitors browse in the starry Art Museum. Shanghai, China. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images.

A man wearing protective mask visit the Museum of Illusion on May 13, 2020 in Paris. Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images.

A staff member holds a sign of wearing face masks at the Palace Museum on the first day of its reopening in Beijing, China. Photo by Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service via Getty Images.

A staff member holds a sign of wearing face masks at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China. Photo by Du Yang/China News Service via Getty Images.

People visit Simatai Great Wall in Beijing, China. Photo by Su Dan/China News Service via Getty Images.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share