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State cultural institutions in Seoul metropolitan area to reopen

The National Library of Korea will reopen on July 22. (National Library of Korea)
The National Library of Korea will reopen on July 22. (National Library of Korea)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Sunday that its affiliated institutions -- museums, art galleries, libraries and performance venues – can resume operations.

The Culture Ministry’s announcement follows the government’s statement Sunday that the social distancing campaign for facilities in the Seoul metropolitan area would be relaxed.

The shutdown of state-run cultural institutions began at 6 p.m. on May 29.

The ministry’s 10 museums, art galleries and libraries, including the National Museum of Korea and the National Library of Korea, will reopen July 22.

Performing arts centers as well as state art companies in the Seoul metropolitan area, including the Korean National Ballet, will reopen, with the first performance taking place at the National Gugak Center on July 25.

The Culture Ministry added that it will comply with the Health Ministry’s rules on social distancing. The museums, art galleries and libraries will only accept up to 30 percent of their maximum capacity to make sure that they can keep a 2-meter distance between visitors. Performing arts theaters will leave every other seat unoccupied to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Culture Ministry also recommended that visitors check each facility‘s guidelines and make reservations in advance.

By Song Seung-hyun (