Melbourne’s major cultural institutions will welcome back Victorians in time for the winter school holidays. Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced that the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, State Library Victoria and parts of Arts Centre Melbourne will officially re-open to the public on Saturday 27 June 2020.
“Even with their lights off and doors closed, our cultural institutions have continued to entertain and connect millions of people in Victoria and beyond with innovative virtual experiences. But nothing beats the real thing,” said Minister Foley. “Our venues will put the right measures in place so Victorians can confidently and safely visit our many fantastic cultural attractions in the school holidays and beyond.”
While some entertainment and cultural venues can open under strict conditions today – our key public institutions will take further time to ensure that their much-loved facilities are ready to safely welcome back the community. The directions of the Chief Health Officer will be the principal guide to re-opening conditions.
Melbourne Museum plans to re-open all of its spaces, including the popular Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery, as well as IMAX Melbourne. Scienceworks in Spotswood, much loved by children of all ages, will also open all of its experiences.
“The health and safety of all our visitors, staff and volunteers is our highest priority, and we’ve been meticulously planning so that our visitors can safely enjoy our museums and theatre,” Lynley Crosswell, CEO & Director Museums Victoria.
“Through our strong virtual engagement with our visitors during our temporary closure, we have seen how many people are looking forward to returning to the NGV and we will ensure that the Gallery continues to be a welcoming and safe place for our community,” said Tony Ellwood AM, Director NGV.
“The NGV will continue to deliver a dynamic range of virtual art, design and learning experiences for our visitors at home and will also launch a range of digital self-guided tours of the NGV Collection galleries for our visitors to enjoy on-site upon re-opening.”
The State Library’s iconic La Trobe Reading Room and the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall will again inspire visitors, along with other recently transformed spaces. Arts Centre Melbourne will open for self-guided tours and visits to the popular Australian Music Vault exhibition in the Theatres Building and the immersive Ghostly Machines in Hamer Hall.
In the weeks leading up to their official re-opening, some of these venues will welcome smaller community groups for special access, viewings and programs. From 22 – 26 June, NGV will host special interest groups, giving priority access to community members who face additional challenges in experiencing the gallery.
Over the same period Melbourne Museum will welcome back museum members as well as children with autism and their families. From 15 June, State Library Victoria will open its ground-floor information centre and Cowen Gallery for those with limited access to wi-fi and communication technology.
“The State Library has always played an important role supporting Victorians during trying times, and we are pleased to be able to initially offer our services to those in most need as we begin reopening the Library,” said Kate Torney, CEO State Library Victoria.
These cultural icons will also continue to offer their popular virtual experiences, such as streamed talks, children’s programs, performances and behind the scenes tours, which have been so embraced by Victorians during the closure period.
To prepare for re-opening, galleries, museums, libraries, theatres and performance spaces will implement a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors and staff. The number of people allowed in each separate space will be consistent with the Chief Health Officer’s directions.
For more detail on what’s on, what’s open and tickets, visit the relevant organisation’s website:
Image: NGV International – courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria