Guide to International Museum Day in lockdown

Some of the biggest galleries and art spaces in Catalonia are offering a program despite the confinement order

Exterior of Antoni Gaudí's La Pedrera building, also known as Casa Milà (by Mar Vila)
Exterior of Antoni Gaudí's La Pedrera building, also known as Casa Milà (by Mar Vila) / Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

May 16, 2020 04:21 PM

Monday, May 18, International Museum Day is celebrated across the world, and in normal times in Catalonia museums, galleries, and art spaces usually open their doors for free to the public late at night on the Saturday nearest to the date. 

It has become a highly anticipated tradition in recent years, with huge queues waiting to get access to places like the Picasso Museum, La Pedrera, and MNAC, and many more. 

Amid the coronavirus crisis, however, with the public confined to home, Museum Day will take a very different form this year. Instead of "Open doors," we will have "Open screens," with a selection of activities held on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

La Pedrera

Art historian Sílvia Vilarroya will give a guided tour of the interior of one of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous buildings, La Pedrera, located on Passeig de Gràcia in the center of Barcelona. Also known as Casa Milà, the tour will begin at 12 noon on Monday, and will be streamed from the Instagram Live page of the historic building - @lapedrera_barcelona

Picasso Museum

Staff of the Picasso Museum will rediscover the works of the beloved cubist painter and sculptor as they offer conversations on some of the pieces in the museum’s collection. The museum’s head of restoration and conservator will take a look at pieces from the exhibitions 'Science and Charity' and 'The Fool'. The talks will take place on the YouTube channel of Patrimoni GenCat (the Catalan government’s Heritage account) on Monday, May 18. Along with this, a new version of the Museum Quiz will take place on May 18 too. 


The Contemporary Art Museum of Catalonia is offering the film 'Singularity' by Albert Serra free to stream for 24 hours on May 18 as part of the celebrations of International Museum Day. The theme chosen by the International Council of Museums for this year is "Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion," and as such the MACBA is hosting a presentation of Antoni Abad's latest work, 'Deaf Ears', followed by a conversation between the artist himself, Ferran Barenblit, and Cristina Bonet.


Catalonia’s National Art Museum will put on a guided tour of their room dedicated to the paintings of the Romanesque churches Sant Climent de Taüll, streamed live on YouTube from Monday 19:15. A museum quiz and games for the whole family will also be available.

Music Museum

From Tuesday, May 19, the Music Museum will offer virtual tours of its site. Learn about different instruments, their evolutions, and popularity throughout history. They will also be broadcasting recordings from the classical pianist Josep Colom, which can be followed with the hashtag #trilogiaColom

Design Museum

Barcelona's Design Museum is offering an extensive range of activities. Not only will various exhibitions be available to visit online, such as 'The Dressed Body' and their four permanent exhibits, but also games will be offered to fans for more of an interactive experience. A selection of digitized historical books related to the world of design will also be opened to the public to read. 

Miró Foundation

During these times of coronavirus, the Miró Foundation has provided one of the most complete selections of activities to be enjoyed at home. Lectures about the works of the 20th-century artist are available on the foundation's website, as are games and activities for the whole family to enjoy. In addition, a complete tour of the premises is available here, using cutting edge technology.

Born Cultural and Memory Center 

On Saturday, May 16, the Twitter account of the Born Cultural and Memory Center will be hosting 'The Indiscreet Window' which will offer a choose-your-own-adventure style game about life in the Catalan capital in 1700. People will also be able to follow the event over Facebook and Instagram.