Culture sites closed in Seoul out of abundance of caution
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has ordered all state-run cultural centers in Seoul to close from Dec. 8 as the city and environs are now under the Level 2.5 social distancing measures.
The affected include 17 state-run museums, galleries, libraries and performances centers. Their doors will be closed at least until Dec. 18.
Under Level 2.5, they are not required to be closed. But given that the situation could get worse in the coming days and weeks, the Culture Ministry is taking action after the Seoul city government asked for cooperation.
The 17 spots include nine museums, galleries and libraries in Seoul and eight performing centers.
The former includes: the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan District, central Seoul; the National Folk Museum of Korea in Jongno District, central Seoul; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Jongno Distdict, central Seoul; and the National Library of Korea in Seocho District, southern Seoul.
The eight performing centers include: the National Theater of Korea; Jeongdong Theater; and Myeongdong Theater in Jung District, central Seoul; Baek Seonghui & Jang Minho Theater in Yongsan District, central Seoul; and the Seoul Arts Center and the National Gugak Center in Seocho District, southern Seoul.
Seven national cultural organizations have cancelled performances, including the National Theater Company of Korea, the Korea National Opera and the Korean National Ballet.
Private events already booked at venues and impossible to cancel can proceed.
Whether the doors open on Dec. 19 will be decided later, depending on the number of confirmed cases seen in the coming days.
Other national museums, galleries, theaters and performing centers located outside of Seoul can stay open, but they are limited to 30 percent of capacity under the Level 2.5 social distancing measures.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [email@example.com]