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Coronavirus

Madrid’s Art Museums Reopen, But with Rules

MADRID — Masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya, and Picasso can be enjoyed once again now that the most important art museums in Spain’s capital have reopened after almost three months closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madrid’s Museo del Prado opened its doors on Saturday for 1,800 visitors, who had to wear face masks and have their temperature taken before viewing what the museum called its “most iconic works.”

The special exhibition titled “Reunited” includes over 190 works that were relocated inside the huge museum to streamline the flow of visitors, who must stay on a fixed route past Velázquez’s “Las Meninas,” Fra Angelico’s “The Annunciation”, and Rubens’ “Saturn Devouring a Son.”

El Prado had not been shuttered for such a long time since the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.

The city’s other two leading museums, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, also welcomed back art lovers.

“We were very eager to come because we are regular museum goers and today was the first day it was open,” 35-year-old Cristina Munteano said inside the Reina Sofia Museum, home to Picasso’s “Guernica.”

“It is kind of strange because we have to get used to this new normalcy, wearing masks and lining up,” Munteano said. “There are lots of workers to keep order. The majority of people respect the social distancing, but there are some who don’t. Otherwise, it is just like before.”

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