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Coronavirus scare in Italy forces lockdown, galleries shut

Italy has been on the worse receiving end of the coronavirus epidemic that has affected the whole world, the art community included. Now, the country is in a lockdown, which has forced art galleries to shut their doors to the public.

The most visible impact was seen in the Lombardy region of Italy, which has been hit the worst by coronavirus. Here, a number of galleries have shut their doors, including Dep Art Gallery, Monica de Cardenas, and Massimo De Carlo. Art dealer Thomas Brambilla also closed his museum situated near Milan.

But the impact is not limited to a single region. The Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, one of the premier art centers in Rome, recently closed down till further notice. The museum had only recently inaugurated its much anticipated Raphael exhibition. In Naples, two galleries – Gallerie Umberto Di Marino and Galleria Fonti  – have shut their gates despite no case reported so far. However, some galleries have opted to remain open, though with additional precautions. Bologna’s P420 and Luce Gallery in Turin will both stay open.

The coronavirus epidemic has been the worst in Italy among all European nations.

Most dealers and gallery owners have said that the closure is for the sake of public safety. Marco Cassina (dealer, Cassina Projects) said that while the gallery will remain closed for public, clients can seek individual appointments. Brambilla admitted that business has been hit by the epidemic, though people are still buying art as they still consider it a safe investment. 

Italy has been the worst-hit European country by the coronavirus epidemic. As of yesterday, more than 8000 cases had been reported, with the numbers growing every hour. Seeing the severity of the situation that threatened its 60 million inhabitants, the government announced a lockdown of the country. It means that travel from and to Italy will be severely restricted as the government tries to quarantine the population. This has posed additional issues for art dealers and curators who were scheduled to participate in various international art events outside Italy.