Tate Modern enthusiasts and workers will have spent the last three months longing for the staple London art gallery to open its doors once more. The famed riverside site is part of the Tate network, the entirety of which closed its doors to the public due to COVID-19 in March. Reopening may end up a hurdle for gallery owners, as it relies on crowds to stay in business.
When will the Tate Modern reopen?
Boris Johnson recently revealed the hospitality industry and some entertainment venues have permission to reopen from July 4.
The latest unlocking of the UK includes museums, cinemas and galleries, and means the Tate Modern would have the green light to reopen next month.
However, the gallery is one link in the vast Tate network, which chiefs will reopen as a whole much later.
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Tate director Maria Balshaw told Art Newspaper she “hopes” the Tate Modern will open one month later in early August.
However, the network would only do so when it is safe, as Ms Balshaw added rising infections levels would alter plans.
When they do welcome back customers, Tate leadership is expecting few people to return.
Ms Balshaw said she believes roughly 30 percent of the network’s pre-pandemic custom.
She said: “We are working from a visitor safety perspective and planning for 30 percent of normal visitor numbers.
“We have come to that from two directions. That represents the number of visitors we can safely accommodate, with two-metre social distancing.
“We also think that this is a reasonable estimate of likely demand.
“But I feel that demand might be higher because during the closure through social media and digital content we have seen an incredible enthusiasm and love for our museums and what we show inside them.”
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The reduction in business will likely cost the Tate, which relies primarily on self-generated income, a significant amount as visitors tentatively return.
Ms Balshaw said the network as a whole was facing cuts as the cultural sector feels the damaging effects of COVID-19.
She said: “Along with the whole of the cultural sector we will be facing a really significant financial challenge.
“We won’t know the scale of that until we reopen, and the situation is changing on a weekly basis.”
Some venues have pledged to reopen from July 4, after welcoming the Government’s latest announcement.
Amongst them are both museums and galleries, and the National Gallery is leading the charge on the art front.
They will open from the date with caution, followed by the Whitechapel Gallery which hopes to open in mid-July.
Regardless of when they open, each site will have to implement sweeping anti-coronavirus measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
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