By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
After more than one year of being closed to visitors, the Getty Villa was slated to reopen to the public starting Wednesday, April 21.
“The Getty Villa is one of the most unique experiences of any art museum, and we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors once again after more than a year’s closure,” said Timothy Potts, the Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle director of J. Paul Getty Museum, in a statement.
The museum and gardens will welcome a limited number of visitors with free advanced reservations—a system that was in place pre-COVID-19. Safety measures include one-way routes through galleries and gardens, according to the Villa. Galleries that are too small to accommodate social distancing will remain closed.
Other safety measures being implemented include visitors and staff being required to wear face coverings and maintain six feet distance (except within household groups), and visitors having temperatures checked upon arrival. Visitors and staff displaying symptoms will not be allowed to enter, staff members are required to wash hands regularly, and café meals will be prepackaged.
“We are grateful for the support of the community, which has waited patiently for Getty to reopen,” said Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, in a statement. “I also want to thank our staff, which has been working closely with Los Angeles County and city officials to prepare for a safe reopening. We hope to increase capacity in the coming weeks and months as we are able.”
Visitors will be able to download the new Getty Guide app on their phones, which is designed to safely enhance the visit experience, replacing shared guide devices.
In addition to the Getty Villa’s collections of Greek and Roman art, visitors will also have a chance to see “the most important exhibition of Mesopotamian art ever seen on the West Coast,” Potts shared, which is on loan from the collections of the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
“‘Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins’ explores the origins of writing, architecture, art and much else in ancient Iraq over 5,000 years ago—a journey back to the origins of civilization that is not to be missed,” Potts added.
The exhibition originally was planned to open days after the Getty Villa closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. In addition to works from the Musée du Louvre, it features loans from the Bibliothèque nationale de France and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
“On view will be many of the most renowned masterpieces of Mesopotamian art, including the silver cult vase of the Sumerian king Enmetena, the cylinder seal of the royal scribe Ibni-sharrum, statues of Gudea and other kings of Babylonia, and a glazed brick lion from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon,” according to information from Getty Villa.
The Getty Center, located in Brentwood, remains closed to visitors, with plans to reopen at the end of May, with the Getty Library slated to follow sometime after that.
The Getty Villa will be open Wednesday through Monday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Reservations to visit can be made at getty.edu.
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