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English museums are to remain closed for another three months under Boris Johnsons new roadmap for reopening

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England’s businesses and arts institutions were eagerly awaiting news yesterday of Boris Johnson’s long-awaited roadmap to lift the country out of lockdown.

The new four-step plan to get back to normal allows museums, which are classified as “indoor entertainment” as well as other venues such as cinemas, to reopen from May 17. Shopping malls will be allowed to reopen earlier, starting April 12. , the government said those dates could be pushed back further in the event of a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

While some celebrate the appearance of a light at the end of the tunnel, which should eventually lead to a complete lifting of all restrictions on June 21, the news that museums are to remain closed for another three months has still been a blow for many.

Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, told Artnet News that the May date was particularly disappointing after an earlier communications crash that led many to believe museums could open alongside libraries and community centers from April 12.

“Obviously we’d like to reopen sooner, but at least now we’ve got some clarity and something to work on, and that’s always a good morale boost,” Blazwick says, adding that the duty The institution’s diligence towards the public and its staff remains essential.

Blazwick is looking forward to opening the next gallery retrospective on Eileen Agar with all required public safety measures in place.One of the great things, of course, is that we were now very good at reopening after lockdown, like we have done three times, ”says the manager.

The extended shutdown has been difficult for cultural institutions in the UK.Museums were closed for several months in the spring of 2020, and while some were able to reopen in summer, establishments were pushed back to closure at the end of December. Blazwick says the loss of revenue from tickets, as well as other sources of income such as venue rentals, has had a “huge impact” on finances.

Despite these challenges, however, she says the gallery has so far been able to protect jobs, thanks to support from the government’s vacation program, as well as emergency public funding and continued generosity from benefactors. private.

Shopping malls in England are looking for a brighter image and have been told they can reopen, along with other stores classified as “non-essential,” from April 12.

We are delighted to finally have a specific date on which we can reopen the gallery and plan the dates of our future exhibitions accordingly, galleristTaymour Grahne, who inaugurated Taymour Grahne projects in London during the summer, says Artnet News. Although the gallery has been closed since December, visitors are taking advantage of its online exhibition program, but, as Grahne puts it, virtual art encounters do not replace the pleasure of a physical exhibition. The gallery is wasting no time and will open a solo show by Los Angeles-based artist Gabriella Sanchez on April 13, as well as a group show in an off-site exhibition space in Fitzrovia on April 14.

The devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the power to lift restrictions at their own pace, and museums and galleries there will be subject to different rules. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, is due to announce her plan today, and has said it will be “broadly similar” to Johnson’s. Wales will review its restrictions on March 12 and Northern Ireland will review its regulations on March 18.

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