After being closed for nearly three months, the Museo Reina Sofía
is getting ready to welcome back the public on Saturday June 6th at the usual hour of 10 am, with free entry over the weekend. Intense work has been carried out in a number of areas with the aim of fully guaranteeing the quality of visits, and ensuring this is clearly perceived for the peace of mind of both visitors and workers.
The Museum will be opening its spaces progressively, so it has been decided at the same time to reduce the entrance fee to 5 euros. The time bands with free entry will be retained, and the one novelty, for the time being only, is that the Museum will close on Sunday afternoons.
The public will be able to visit most of the galleries on the second floor of the Sabatini Building, where the most emblematic works of the Collection are on display, among them Guernica by Pablo Picasso, Girl at a Window by Salvador Dalí, and A World by Ángeles Santos. The spaces devoted to Cubism, Surrealism, Óscar Domínguez, Buñuel, Miró, Julio González and the work of Richard Serra and Juan Muñoz are ready for visitors, who will also be able to access the garden and the Nouvel terraces, where work by Cristina Iglesias, Calder and Miralda is currently on display. At the Palacio de Velázquez in Retiro Park, the temporary exhibition on Mario Merz will also remain open. A few more days will have to elapse before the public can enter the Library and Documentation Center of the Museum.
Reduced visitor numbers, a more intimate experience
To guarantee the distancing required for safety, and depending on the amount of exhibition space to be opened to the public at first, the reduction of visitor numbers to one third will currently allow a maximum of 938 people at a time inside the Museums main venue. An automatic system has been installed to inform in real time of the number of people inside the building.
Numbers are also limited in each of the rooms, with the exact figure depending on the space and surface area. In the zone that contains Pablo Picassos Guernica, for example, the number of visitors will be limited to 30. The exhibition on Mario Merz at the Palacio de Velázquez in Retiro Park has a limited capacity of 108 visitors. The capacity of the Library and Documentation Center will also be reduced to a third when the public is readmitted.
Signs by the galleries indicate the maximum number of visitors allowed in each one.
This inevitable reduction in visitor numbers opens the possibility of a new aesthetic experience, as a quieter visit will allow more intimate and personal interaction with the artworks.
The visit: attention and care
The Museo Reina Sofía is laying special emphasis on implementing communication with its public both before and during the visit. This will involve reinforcing the information available on the website, in the media, and on the social networks. Inside the Museum, extreme care will be taken to ensure the public receives personalized attention at all times from mediators and informers.
To prevent items from changing hands between people, the Museum will be encouraging online ticket sales, even for the time bands when entry is free of charge. Even so, the ticket sales points will remain open with a recommendation that payments should preferably be made with bank cards.
For a time, at least, there will be no guided tours or group visits. The Museum will be open only for visits by individuals or members of the same family. Since it is not possible to offer a cloakroom service, these visitors can take their belongings with them inside the building as long as they are not too bulky.
To make the visit as satisfactory as possible, every effort will be made to look after the visitor at all times, with special priority for the vulnerable when necessary, such as in queues to enter the museum, the galleries, or the elevators.
For reasons of hygiene, the Museum has avoided the use of paper, and audioguides are not available for the moment. However, visitors can access information via the website, and can download everything that used to be in the leaflets onto their mobile phones. For greater ease, every room will have a QR code reader to make it simpler to locate the information.
Controlled and signed circulation
In accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities, strict measures have been taken to regulate the circulation of the public in order to prevent visitors from crossing paths or forming crowds in certain areas. There will be a separate entrance and exit for visitors on Plaza de Juan Goytisolo. To guarantee the safety distance of 2 metres and prevent contact between people, the itineraries have been reorganized to ensure fluent circulation through rooms and passages marked with signs and arrows on the floor. Once inside the building, visitors will be personally informed of the marked circuit to be followed when making their way to the places they wish to visit.
One of the two glass towers with its three elevators will be used only for traveling up, and the other only for traveling down. Nevertheless, the use of the stairs will be recommended since there will be limits on the number of people using the elevators.
Other measures: full guarantees
The hygienic and sanitary measures adopted to ensure fully guaranteed safety for the returning public include the obligatory use of face masks by visitors and of face masks and gloves by museum workers. Dispensers of hydroalcoholic solutions and hygienic gels have been installed at numerous points, and transparent screens have been set up at all the information, mediation and visitor interaction desks. Before reopening, the Museum has undergone several processes of disinfection in order to guarantee a healthy environment in the building. All the spaces will moreover be cleaned with greater frequency, especially those that draw the largest numbers of people, and the most sensitive surfaces, such as counters, scanners and display cases, will be disinfected regularly.
On the Library and Documentation Center
When it resumes activity a few days after the reopening of the Museum, the Library will also have its capacity reduced to one third, with priority going to specific specialists and researchers in contemporary art. To maintain safety distances in the library, users will be assigned seats. The archives in the Documentation Center may be consulted by one person at a time by prior arrangement. To prevent material that is lent out from circulating among different users, it will be quarantined for 14 days after its return.
As the situation returns to normal, and always in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities, the Museum will progressively open more spaces so that the public can access more works in the collection and temporary exhibitions. It is hoped soon to open the exhibition Defiant Muses and the show dedicated to Ignacio Gómez de Liaño.
In July, it is planned to reopen the Palacio de Cristal in Retiro Park with an exhibition of the work of Petrit Halilaj. The exhibition on Concha Jerez can be seen at the end of the same month, and the two exhibitions of sound art, Disonata and Audiosphere, will be opening in September. In October, the work of Anna-Eva Bergman will occupy the Palacio de Velázquez. That same month, it is also planned to open the show on El Niño de Elche within the context of the Fissures Program. Finally, if there are no unforeseen changes, the exhibition on Mondrian and De Stijl will be open to the public in November.