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Museum without the crowds: Giacometti Institute reopens in Paris

Allowing 10 people in every 20 minutes, with reservation only, the Giacometti Institute’s new guidelines include spaced out queuing spots and shortened opening hours.

But with major museums that cover much greater surface areas like the Louvre obliged to close for now, art lovers were happy to feast their eyes on the collection after France began exiting its 8-week shutdown on Monday.

“Outside work I usually spend my whole time in museums … and I’ve really been missing it since mid-March,” said Laurent Koch, a finance worker who was one of the first visitors at the Institute on Friday, clad in a face mask.

The museum, in a 350-square-metre Art Deco building in the Montparnasse district of Paris, has brought in new audio guides and made hand sanitizer available to try to make visitors feel safe and soak up the experience all the same.

“Everything has been done to make sure people feel completely protected and that they are not troubled by any other thoughts during their visit other than enjoying the exhibit,” said Catherine Grenier, who heads the Giacometti Foundation.

The museum will let in 180 people a day, three times fewer than usual.

The Giacometti Institute is a recent addition to Paris’ art scene. It opened in 2018 and contains dozens of paintings and sculptures carefully preserved by Giacometti’s wife after his death in 1966, as well as a reconstruction of his studio.

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