The number of COVID-19 cases is slowly declining everywhere, and some countries are taking baby steps to go back to normal, including Italy and UK, where lockdown measures have been slightly loosened. France is doing something similar, and the Parliament is drafting a strategy, so from the 11th of May, we might see the first museum re-openings.
Let’s be clear: this does not mean that total freedom of movement, in fact, museums and galleries will re-open according to a number of factors, including location, surface, and visitors volume. Gatherings of 10 or more people will be prohibited.
Small museums will open first, and although the government had not given explicit indications of what a small museum is, we are pretty sure it does not include Louvre and Orsay.
Which museums have re-opened so far?
There are some museums in Paris that were able to guarantee compliance with social distancing measures.
- Galerie Templon, the gallery founded by Daniel Templon where international artists take part in its contemporary art exhibitions. If you love the new generation of artists, this place will offer you a good distraction from the limitations of the COVID-19 quarantine. It re-opened on the 11th of May, and groups of 10 people are allowed to enter. Face masks should be worn when visiting. You can book online, so you do not have to queue outside, and it is less risky for everyone.
- Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, in Marais, re-opened on the 12th of May with a reduced staff. The gallery provides masks to visitors who want to see the exhibition by Gormley installed right before the lockdown began. The gallery in Pantin will re-open on the 2nd of June.
- Giacometti Foundation, open again from the 15th of May. The institute is in the 14th arrondissement and features the works of the artist Alberto Giacometti. It is open from Thursday to Friday from 11AM to 5PM and tickets can only be booked online, as the ticket office remains closed. People will enter in groups of ten every 20 minutes.
- Musée de l’Illusion, a peculiar museum located in Paris city centre that will puzzle your mind where adults and children can have fun together. It re-opened its doors on the 11th of May.
When will big museums re-open?
The most famous attractions in Paris cannot be re-opened right now, and we will have to wait.
Louvre and Orsay are likely to re-open in July, but if the number of cases increases again, chances will be lower.
Buildings like Louvre museum are big enough to guarantee social distancing, but given the high number of visitors, it might not be enough, that is why more planning is required and for many tourists there might be no Summer breaks in Paris, this year.
We should also consider a step-by-step approach, which could be the best choice in everyone’s interest. In this case, limited entry hours and limitations on the number of people could be in place.
We are optimistic and we think that everything will go according to plan, and later this Summer we will be able to enjoy Paris like we used to.