In common with many other arts and culture institutions throughout Europe and the USA, the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) on The Mall, London, has announced its temporary closure due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Tate has closed its Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives sites until May 1st, Christie’s is shutting almost all of its locations in the US and Europe, including New York, until further notice and postponing March and April sales, and Phillips has postponed all sales and events internationally until mid-May and closed its offices across the US and Europe.
The ICA announcement today (March 16th 2020) said:
“The ICA closes temporarily with immediate effect
Following careful consideration of the current course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire ICA (exhibition spaces, Cinema, Theatre, Bookstore and Rochelle Canteen) will close to visitors and staff until further notice.
Stefan Kalmár, Director of The Institute of Contemporary Arts, said:
‘Today I decided, together with the senior management-team and Wolfgang Tillmans, Chair of the ICA, that it is in the best interests of our staff and the ICA community to temporarily close.
‘As a civic-minded public organisation, for us, the medical and scientific evidence leaves no doubt that the Covid-19 spread can be slowed down, lives saved if all larger gatherings are suspended. By doing so, the ICA pre-empts what we hope will eventually be the decision for all cultural organisations in London and the UK in order to safeguard our staff, our visitors, and the artists with whom we work. We will continue to review the situation daily and hope we can resume our programme as soon as possible. All ICA staff will work from home and continue to be paid.
‘In the meantime, our thoughts go out to all those whose health is impacted here in London, across the UK, Europe and the world.’
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See also: Coronavirus – An Update From Sotheby’s