Australia

Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art reopens after coronavirus shutdown

Tasmania’s iconic Museum of Old and New Art reopened to the public on Boxing Day, after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The famous museum in Hobart said it was unveiling a major revamp of the space, including 350 art works from founder David Walsh’s personal collection, some of which had never been displayed before. 

Visitors enter Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art on its re-opening day.

Sarah Maunder/SBS

The gallery closed its doors in March and cancelled its annual Dark Mofo winter arts festival, a major drawcard for tourists to the island state. 

Tasmania was the first state to introduce border closures in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and borders have remained closed for much of the year. 

The chapel is seen reflected in a window as people visit the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

The chapel is seen reflected in a window as people visit the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart.

AAP

The state’s borders are now open to every jurisdiction in Australia, other than Greater Sydney in NSW, which is battling an outbreak of the virus in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

MONA said that pre-booked tickets would be required to attend the museum. 

Owner David Walsh said he was a bit nervous and anxious about the reopening, noting that many of the customers to MONA for the foreseeable future may be local. 

“COVID refocused us on localism, MONA had a global aspect to it, but now I’m thinking about community, we are looking inwards and this is what we see,” Mr Walsh said. 

Mara who travelLed from Brisbane to visit MONA and her sister in Hobart said it was wonderful to be back at the museum. 

“Very interesting still, exciting to see new things… finding nice little treasurers I like to inspect,” she told SBS News. 

Deb, a Tasmanian local, said she was grateful the museum was now reopened to the public. 

“[I’m] Just here to say thanks MONA for reopening. I think its a huge icon, it’s culturally significant now, it’s part of our DNA,” she said. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania

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