What does a city look like during the corona outbreak? Photographer Annelien Nijland is documenting the daily reality of one-and-a-half metre life. Part 11: Corona-proof art.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

It started with a simple calculation. How many square metres is the building, how many people can be in it at one time and how long does the average visitor stay in a room? It took a bit of mental arithmetic, but the Centraal Museum has an answer.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

The next challenge was to work out how to guide them through the building as safely as possible. All possibilities were covered: texts, arrows, pictograms, Plexiglas, free latex gloves, extra cleansers, the works. The result is a corona-proof route to escort visitors past the works of art. It was tested and approved by a group of 25 volunteers. After all, you have to check the theory against the practice. You might need another sticker somewhere, or to move screen or hang up another sign.

Photo by Annelien Nijland

All in all, it was like a military operation, which then had to be repeated in the adjoining Miffy museum and Rietveld Schröderhuis. So the museum is now ready and waiting to reopen. Everyone is in the starting blocks: the staff, who had to sit it out at home, and the visitors, who are craving live art again. Virtual exhibitions are all very well, but you can only really admire a Caravaggist, Charley Toorop or Joop Moesman ‘in the flesh’.