Concerns post Covid-19 on museum opening

Lady Hare (by Sophie Ryder) - positioned in Berkeley Square, City of Westminster

With museum finances hit hard by Covid-19, decisions over opening cultural institutions are proving complex.

The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that museums could now open their doors but although a statement from leading galleries such as the V&A and Tate welcomed the news, individually they were not committing to particular dates for admitting visitors.

Staffing, social distancing measures and financial assistance packages are among the issues at the centre of discussion about a return to the 'new normal' for museums.

However, the Whitechapel Gallery in London has confirmed five exhibitions in early July: 'Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium' and 'In the Eye of Bambi' (La Caixa Collection), which will be extended until the end of August.

Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens, London, will have a phased relaunch from 4th August with 'Cao Fei: Blueprints' opening first in its programme.

The Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire plans to open on 1st August with 'The Bill Brandt/Henry Moore' exhibition which has been extended until 1st November.

With some London museums taking time to organise their openings, perhaps it is an opportunity for art lovers to continue to enjoy exhibits in the open air. A sculpture depicting the body of a woman with the head of a hare, is now on display for all to view in Berkeley Square.

The piece is designed by Sophie Ryder who is known for her hybrids and mythological figures and is modelled on the artists' own body but using machine parts and scavenged toys cast in bronze to create the unique textures.

The sculpture forms part of Westminster City Council's 'City of Sculpture' programme which brings sculpture to iconic outdoor locations across Westminster.

Cllr Matthew Green, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Business and Planning said:

'Westminster is home to world-class culture, however with the doors of our museums and galleries still closed, I am pleased to be able to showcase this ambitious piece of art in one of our most quintessential public squares.'

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