Museums in Phase 1 begin to reopen with enhanced safety measures

Capacity limited to one third, face masks obligatory, and distancing must be kept

A visitor to the Antoni Pinyol Gallery wears a face mask after the art space reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic (by Roger Segura)
A visitor to the Antoni Pinyol Gallery wears a face mask after the art space reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic (by Roger Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 14, 2020 12:33 PM

As the Tarragona health region progressed to Phase 1 of the coronavirus lockdown de-escalation plan this week, some museums have reopened their doors to the public for the first time in months, but with some enhanced safety measures in place. 

Many theatres, libraries, and cinemas have not yet reopened, but the Antoni Pinyol Gallery and Sala Constantí Art are two art spaces in the city of Reus that have welcomed visitors again after the strictest lockdown measures have already passed. 

In both galleries, no appointment is necessary in order to visit, but face masks must be worn, capacity is limited to one third, and safety distances must be kept between other people as well as the artworks themselves. 

The Antoni Pinyol Art Gallery opened the exhibition 'Piqué: Plural' on March 7, with works from the painter, sculptor, and architect Josep Piqué i Iserte, but one week later, however, the museum was forced to close doors due to the coronavirus. The gallery reopened on Tuesday, and has extended the Piqué exhibition until June 5.

These months of confinement have pushed the owner, Antoni Pinyol, to reflect on the future of the gallery and in turn he has transferred management of the space to his daughters, Isabel and Cristina.  

One of the new directors, Isabel Pinyol, admits that the pandemic has been a blow. “Galleries depend on people passing by on the street, they see us and come in, and we’ve lost that during those two months,” she laments. "The luck galleries have is that they don't have many crowds either," Isabel Pinyol jokes, referring to the limited capacity. 

Sales stop during lockdown

Another gallery in Reus that has reopened this week is the Sala Constantí Art, which as well as a gallery space, works on marquetry, restoration of paintings, and the sale of fine arts material.

"It's been a very hard two months because it's completely stopped the sale of paintings. A lot of people have been able to see artwork online, but until they see it up close they never close any deal," business owner Antoni Constantí said.

They got back to business again on Monday, the first day they could, and say they are happy with the resumption. "We have already sold several important works of art, and this encourages us to fight and move forward," celebrates Constantí.

However, the restrictions of the de-escalation plan will now propose other obstacles to the art space, especially due to capacity limitations and the impossibility of inaugurating new exhibitions. "We had to stop the whole exhibition project planned for this year, and we will talk about it at the beginning of next year," Constantí laments.