This week, starting 13 May, Latvia’s museums will begin to gradually open their doors to visitors. To make visits safe and sustain consistent and clear conditions for entry, museums will conduct a joint public information campaign #TiekamiesTagad (Let's meet now!). In many museums, bright yellow signs and notices in uniform design will facilitate a safe visiting experience. For the time being, they will change the appearance of museums and tweak visitors’ habits, but the most important thing is the opportunity for museums and museumgoers to meet again. Museums in Latvia will open at different dates, so the platformmuzeji.lv (muzeji = museums) will publish regular updates on museums already open, notify the public about their offer and inform about any remaining restrictions.
Museums may open their doors to the public provided they follow a sanitary protocol expressly developed for the museum industry. Visitors are encouraged to refrain from attending museums if they experience symptoms suggestive of a respiratory disease. Meanwhile, the key condition inside is keeping a 2-meter physical distance from other visitors and staff. To observe this stipulation, the number of visitors at any given museum shall be controlled. Museums shall also provide opportunities for hand washing or sanitizing. For safety reasons, access to certain elements, such as touch-sensitive surfaces or areas for practical engagement with museum installations, may be limited or denied altogether; visitors are kindly invited to treat such cases with understanding.
Museums take the requirements of the sanitary protocol very seriously. However, the chosen hashtag #TiekamiesTagad also demonstrates that museums are keenly looking forward to reconnecting with their visitors in person in the freshly blooming parks and gardens, prepared but still unopened exhibitions and newly polished permanent displays. We offer the hashtag #TiekamiesTagad not only to museums, but to every organisation that will reopen its doors to the public.
Remarkably, the gradual reopening of museums will coincide with the International Museum Week: the Long Night of Museums would have been held on 16 May, closely followed by International Museum Day on 18 May.
The visual identity of the campaign will paraphrase the pictogram of the internationally known sign “Fragile. Handle with care” that features a pair of hands carefully holding a fragile cargo and is habitually seen on shipments of valuable cultural heritage. However, this campaign highlights the fragility of human life and health, inviting visitors to have a care for safe visits to Latvian museums.
The campaign is being carried out by the Latvian Museum Association, the largest non-governmental organisation that brings together Latvia’s museums and art centres. The idea of the campaign has been developed in cooperation among Latvian museums within the Latvian Museum Association. Association thanks Latvian Museum Council and the Ministry of Culture for the constructive dialog and information exchange.