Getty Villa set to reopen April 21

Visitors enjoy the garden at the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, California on April 18, 2011. (Photo credit GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

The popular Getty Villa museum and gardens in Pacific Palisades is planning to reopen to visitors starting Wednesday, April 21.

The Getty Villa has been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Getty Center in Brentwood is expected to open next month. The Getty Library will reopen sometime afterward.

Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, reservations will need to be made in advance and a limited number of people will be allowed in to avoid overcrowding. 

Organizers say galleries that are too small to accommodate social distancing will be closed and paths through the galleries and gardens will be all one-way.

"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 Getty Director Timothy Potts.

With the reopening visitors will be able to see the new exhibit ‘Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins’ which was slated to open last year. The new exhibit will run through Aug. 16 and includes 5,000-year-old writing, architecture and art. Artifacts include a silver cult vase of the Sumerian king Enmetena and a glazed brick lion from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon.

"Never have we had a more enticing combination of displays for them to enjoy,'' he added. "As well as our collections of ancient Greek and Roman art, we are now able to present the most important exhibition of Mesopotamian art ever seen on the West Coast, on loan from the incomparable collections of the Musee du Louvre in Paris.''

In addition to limited numbers of visitors and one-way routes, other safety measures at the Villa will include:

•    Visitors and staff must wear face coverings
•    Visitors and staff must maintain six feet distance (except within household groups)
•    Visitors will have temperatures checked upon arrival
•    Visitors and staff displaying symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever) will not be allowed to enter
•    Staff are required to wash hands regularly; visitors are urged to do so as well
•    Café meals will be pre-packaged
•    The Family Forum remains closed

"We are grateful for the support of the community, which has waited patiently for Getty to reopen. 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," said Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. "We hope to increase capacity in the coming weeks and months as we are able."

Visitors will also have the opportunity to download the new Getty Guide app on their phones which organizers say will enhance the visit experience by replacing shared guide devices. 

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