MUSEUMS such as El Prado, Reina Sofia or Thyssen-Bornemisza will be closed from today until further notice due to the expansion of the coronavirus.
The decision was taken yesterday by the Ministry of Culture and Sport. The measure comprises a temporary suspension of their activities to the public. The workers, however, will continue to carry out their work in each of the centres.
The aim is to guarantee the health of visitors and employees.
The measure was adopted in coordination with the Ministry of Health and affects the following museums: Prado, Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Arqueologico Nacional, Antropologia, Cerralbo, Artes Decorativas, Museo de America, Museo del Romanticismo, Museo del Traje-Centro de Investigacion del Patrimonio Etnologico, Museo Sorolla and the Centro Tabacalera. The closure also involves the Cine Dore and the library of the Filmoteca Española.
The Thyssen Museum is the most affected of all. On February 18, it opened its star exhibition of the season, Rembrandt and the Portrait in Amsterdam, 1590-1670, with 39 works by the master, on loan from the Queen of England and museums such as the Metropolitan in New York and the National Gallery in London.
This is the fourth time the Prado has been forced to close its doors since the Civil War.
Since the restoration of democracy in Spain, the famous art gallery has only closed its doors on three previous occasions.
The first of these was in 1987, when it was closed for two days because of a strike by museum workers.
The following year, in 1988, the museum closed its doors again, this time for one day because of the general strike that took place on December 14 of that year.
Finally, it was closed for the last time in 2004, the day after the Atocha bombings on March 11. This new closure will coincide with the 16th anniversary of that attack.
As far as National Heritage is concerned, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, the Palace of El Pardo, the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Monastery of Las Descalzas and the Monastery of La Encarnación y el Valle de los Caidos will remain closed to the public.
The gardens of Aranjuez, Campo del Moro, El Escorial and the gardens of El Pardo will remain open.