Of the works contained in museums

Des œuvres confinées dans les musées

In Quebec, the exposure of the highly anticipated on the works of the couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, which has attracted more than 50 000 persons in a month, had to be dismantled may 18, to then be presented in Oregon.

“Even if we wanted to dismantle [the exhibition], it is impossible to do so in accordance with the measures of distance,” says the director of the Musée national des beaux-arts, Jean-Luc Murray. The works are often handle by several people. It is necessary to think of safety equipment for our teams.”

And even if the works could travel from one city to the other, as they are regarded as a commodity, they cannot, as is always the case, be accompanied by a conveyor to ensure that the transport is carried out according to the standards, ” adds Mr. Murray.

If it is impossible to pick up the works of Frida Kahlo, it is almost a good news in itself, because the MNBAQ likely extend the exhibition since its reopening, to make up for lost time, advance to the director.

A few members of staff are allowed to go on-site to ensure that optimal preservation conditions are met, such as the temperature in the rooms and hydrometry.

Same fight everywhere on the planet

The extension of some of the exhibitions will result in the delay of the installation of the new. In the case of the MNBAQ, it was expected the works by the photographer William J. Turner, for an exhibition which was to be inaugurated in June.

What makes things easier is that all the museums of the planet are in the same situation, says Nathalie Bondil, director and curator of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, where the egyptian mummies continue to rest in between its walls then they had to leave the premises on 29 march for the Royal Ontario Museum.

“As there has been a complete closure of all the museums, there is a shift, like a domino effect that occurs,” says Ms. Bondil.

As well, Paris in the time of post-impressionism, which was to be inaugurated on march 28 will be shifted a few weeks.

It is also the case of the Museum of civilization in Quebec city, where the room that houses the exhibition Venenum, a world poisoned was to receive in June, a major exhibition on the special effects in the cinema.

A next reopening?

Speaking of visitors, the museums could be part of the first cultural venues to be able to reopen their doors, as a visit to a museum can be done according to the rules of detachment, physical, support their leaders.

“We’re going to have to put in place a number of measures to limit the number of people at once in the museum, ensure that there are measures of hygiene and safety even greater than usual”, explains the director of the Museum of civilization, Stéphan La Roche.

“We are working together to devise procedures déconfinement. It will be necessary to control the crowds, so naturally, it’s going to drastically diminish the source of our income. Dating will be calculated at the lower, half”, says Nathalie Bondil.

The positive

If museums expect to face significant financial challenges due to a voluntary reduction of the goodwill, the impact of the crisis will be less violent than for theatrical performances, for example.

The museums will be positive spin-offs. The pandemic will be forced to focus on the digital.

At the MMFA, the entries to the platform ÉducArt have jumped 88 % since the beginning of the containment, says its director. At the Museum of civilization, it has set up “An hour at museum”, a platform of content for the whole family. The MNBAQ, it was made available to the audioguide of the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and the modern mexican.

“The numeric function, it was already existing, but it has become our main tool for communication, supports Stéphan La Roche. And this, it is going to remain. It is one of the major findings that we pull”.

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