Updated: January 20, 2022 3:47:01 pm
When the famous Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam opened its doors to visitors on Wednesday, they offered hair cutting services instead of museum tours. Similarly, some other 70 odd cultural institutions also offered hair cutting and gym services.
The Royal Concertgebouw considered one of the finest concert halls, set up barber chairs at its stage with two barbers waiting for customers as the hall orchestra played famous symphonies in the background.
The Mauritshuis gallery, which houses paintings like “Girl with a pearl earring”, held fitness classes, while the Speelklok Museum advertised itself as the gym.
They were all protesting against the Dutch government’s continued restrictions on museums and concert halls when other businesses like salons and gyms were allowed to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wanted to make the point that a museum is a safe visit and we should be open. The mayor called me last night and she said she’s not permitting this,” Emilie Gordenker, the director of Van Gogh Museum, told AFP.“We expect to get a warning at some point after which we will have to close, but we wanted to make this point very badly so here we are,” Gordenker added.
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Her sentiments were echoed by Simon Renink, the director of The Royal Concertgebouw, who believed that the “cultural sector” should be allowed to open with appropriate Covid safety measures. “After two years of patience and an ever-constructive attitude, it is high time for a fair perspective for the cultural sector,” he told AFP. On its part, the government sent notices to the venues that participated in the symbolic protests.
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“..on Wednesday 19 January, we will be converting the Van Gogh Museum into a hairdressing salon once. With this we draw attention to the dire situation in the cultural sector and the need to reopen the museums as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/8CpgljAT7U
— Ufuk Gür (@ufukozgul) January 18, 2022
Access to the arts are part of the social determinents of health. Policy wonks that view culture soley as entertainment are doing a great disservice to society. https://t.co/pMaPBAKAOo
— danielle brazell (@dbrazell1) January 19, 2022
BRB going to the Netherlands for a day to have my nails done in the Van Gogh Museum https://t.co/Bf3RWleXNi
— basically, daria (@basicallydaria) January 19, 2022
Do they also cut your… ear? https://t.co/SZr6GUczyi
— Iñaki Aldasoro (@i_aldasoro) January 19, 2022
Dutch disobedience honed to a fine art. https://t.co/2AKqU2L9HU
— Richard de Nooy (@RicharddeNooy) January 19, 2022
Data from the Netherlands government shows the average number of confirmed Covid-19 cases over the past 7 days in Amsterdam stood at 2,996 and the national seven-day average is at 35,588 as of January 19.
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