The pandemic surge has forced five Philadelphia museums and cultural institutions to a six-week closure. The cultural institutions will close their doors for the rest of the year due to the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and the resulting city-wide restrictions announced this week.
According to a press release, the museums affected by the pandemic surge are the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Each museum commits “to temporarily close to the public in support of Philadelphia’s broad-based, stepped-up effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A specific date for reopening is to be announced in the coming weeks. However, the institutions expect to open their doors early next year. The press release also stated that each museum will work with health authorities in order to do this.
In a joint statement, the leadership teams of each museum said that while they are closing their doors now, they believe each of their cultural institutions will play an important role in overcoming the pandemic surge.
“As cultural and educational institutions, we take our civic responsibility very seriously, and we work to defeat the pandemic together. We also firmly believe that our cultural institutions will play a central role in the city’s ultimate recovery.”
Support to health authorities
The statement stressed their support to the health authorities. “It is extremely discouraging to close our doors at a moment when, during a normal year, we would be preparing to welcome even more visitors for the holiday season. We understand that it is vitally important to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, visitors, members, and volunteers and we support the efforts of our government and medical professionals in reducing the spread of the virus.”
They also encouraged the community to find different ways to support them amid the pandemic-caused closures. “We encourage our community to support our institutions in other ways during the season of giving, so that we can emerge from this period and welcome our visitors in the new year.”
This announcement comes days after Philadelphia released restrictions across the city to check the pandemic surge, traveling, indoor dining, and gathering between members of separate households.