A woman looks at "Campbell's Soup Cans" by Andy Warhol as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopens its doors to the public on August 27, 2020 in New York, after being closed since March 12, 2020 due to Covid-19

 

MOMA is the first major museum in the Big Apple to reopen to the public since the US cultural capital was hard-hit by the virus, bringing its busy calendar to a halt.

Under the new regulations, and with the tourism sector at a standstill due to the pandemic, only a few art lovers reserved a time slot for the church-like calm of reopening day.

Crowds won’t grow much bigger, as the museum will operate at 25 percent of capacity and with the now-usual precautions of social distancing and temperature checks.

The MOMA has limited capacity to 100 people per hour, although museum leadership hopes to gradually increase entry numbers, explained Sonya Shrier, the director of visitor engagement.

“It’s really a very special time to visit the galleries, because the galleries aren’t as crowded, but also, it’s such a wonderful opportunity for visitors to gather safely… in a difficult time,” she said.

The grand reopening was meticulously planned, and it’s “just so gratifying to see the plans in action and the doors open and visitors back,” Shrier added.

New York’s largest museum, the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, will reopen on Saturday, and the majority of other museums are expected to reopen by early October.

New York City was hit hard by Covid-19 in the spring, with more than 23,600 deaths, but the city has become a model for keeping the pandemic under control, with an infection rate of about one percent.

But New York, normally synonymous with nonstop activity and mass tourism, has yet to fully come back to life.