The Louvre Reopens as Coronavirus Concerns Continue to Close Art Destinations

  • March 04, 2020 15:13

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In Paris, the Louvre reopened Wednesday afternoon after a 3 day hiatus due to coronavirus concerns.
At Gianguan Auctions in New York , Lot 52, Qing Dynasty, Imperial Bronze Dragon Knop Seal. Estimate $5,000 - $8,000
Gianguan Auctions

(As of 3/4/20)

The Louvre reopened Wednesday afternoon after a three day closure and a meeting with staff over coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

New guidelines are in place as health precautions for the 2,300 Louvre workers such as a placing staff only at the entrances of the gallery displaying the Mona Lisa and not circulating amongst the throngs of visitors who flock to Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece. 

The Louvre said it would also accept only credit cards at kiosks or online and staff would not handle cash for admissions, according to the AP. The museum had closed Sunday due to staff concerns over catching the virus as France moved to ban large gatherings of people. Some 9.6 million visitors went to the Louvre last year.


Also, dozens of museums were earlier closed across Italy, where towns in the Lombardy region have been placed in lockdown over virus cases. Syracuse University sent home 342 students in its Florence study abroad program. On Wednesday, Italy closed all schools and universities.

Among the exhibitions that could be affected by lower attendance or possible closures is the largest-ever Raphael retrospective at Rome's Scuderie del Quirinale, on view March 5 - June 2. 

Art Dubai organizers said Tuesday that they would postpone the fair, scheduled for March 25-28.

At TEFAF Maastricht, "MERRY COMPANY IN AN INN" by JAN STEEN, (1626 - Leiden - 1679) oil on panel.

Asia Week New York is expected to go forward this month, kicking off March 12 with 36 gallery exhibitions curated by prominent Asian art experts. Six auction houses will postpone most sales until June, but some highlights will be on view and a few sales remain scheduled.

Gianguan Auctions will offer a well-curated Fine Chinese Paintings and Works of Art Collection, featuring a trove of 255 items, at its March 16 sale in New York.

Ahead in the Netherlands, the 33rd edition of the TEFAF Maastricht art fair will open this weekend as scheduled, but a few exhibitors have dropped out over coronavirus fears. The fair released a statement, in part: "Further to the Dutch authority’s advice, TEFAF is taking extra precautionary measures, such as additional all-day cleaning services and distribution and placement of hand sanitizers at the fair." 

Closures of museums, galleries and art events across China, where the outbreak began, included the cancelling of Art Basel Hong Kong. Exhibitors were offered a refund of 75 percent of their booth fees. After the U.S. and the UK, China is the third-biggest art market in the world, according to 2018 stats in last year’s Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.

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