After closing its doors on 13 March, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen in late summer, with visitors likely to find a museum that looks and feels a little different.

The Met, the largest art museum in the United States, announced that it would open "in mid-August perhaps a few weeks later," in accordance with New York's phased easing of social distancing measures and gradual reopening of non-essential businesses. All three locations are expected to reopen at the same time: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters and The Met Breuer.

When the museum first opens, it will operate at reduced hours to "provide an environment that respects social distance requirements". It will be quieter, with less crowds and though nothing has been set in stone yet, it's likely there'll be no tours, talks, concerts or events until 2021.

The Met, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, cancelled the Met Gala earlier this month with no plans to resume the star-studded fashion event until 2021. It was one of the first major museums to close its doors in mid-March with other cultural institutions following suit. In April it laid off 81 employees and estimated its revenue shortfall at $150 million, according to NPR.

The Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Social distancing measures are likely to be in place when the museum reopens ©Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

"The Met has endured much in its 150 years, and today continues as a beacon of hope for the future. This museum is also a profound reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the power of art to offer comfort, inspiration, and community," museum president Daniel H. Weiss said in a statement. "As we endure these challenging and uncertain times, we are encouraged by looking forward to the day when we can once again welcome all to enjoy The Met’s collection and exhibitions."

In the meantime, people can still visit The Met online through virtual exhibitions for all ages and immersive 360° videos. 

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