The National Library of Korea will remain closed until April 19. (National Library of Korea)
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Monday that its affiliated institutions -- museums, art galleries, libraries and performance venues -- will remain closed until April 19.
The Culture Ministry’s announcement follows the government’s announcement on Saturday that it was extending its social distancing campaign for another two weeks.
The campaign was originally scheduled to end Sunday, but the Ministry of Health and Welfare extended it to April 19 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. At the briefing where the decision was announced, the government said its goal was to lower the average number of new patients to around 50 per day, from the current 100.
Initially, the culture and arts facilities were set to close Feb. 25 to April 5. This decision was made after South Korea raised its virus alert level to “red,” the highest level, Feb. 23.
The ministry-affiliated facilities include 24 museums, art galleries and libraries, including the National Museum of Korea and the National Library of Korea. The decision also affects the ministry’s five affiliated theaters, including the National Theater of Korea, as well as institutions such as the National Theater Company of Korea and the Korean National Ballet.
The Culture Ministry said it will decide when the institutions can reopen and resume their activities when the country’s social distancing campaign officially ends. The ministry added that it will consult with them individually before deciding.
Meanwhile, the ministry said it will work hard to provide diverse cultural content, including exhibitions and performances, through online channels during the social distancing campaign period.
Information on online exhibitions and performances is available at the ministry’s website at www.culture.go.kr. The website provides links to the online platforms and YouTube channels of the individual affiliated bodies.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org