The V&A Museum in London sits on 12 acres of land and has 9 miles of gallery space. It is absolutely massive. But just like everywhere else, when the UK went into lockdown last year, it shut its doors.
With the majority of staff sent home, it was up to the museum’s security to keep an eye on things, including the preservation of the artefacts by changing batteries on atmospheric sensors and keeping an eye out for art eating rodents. Then there was the threat of art thieves. The V&A security team used social media to remind any opportunists they were very much present after thieves used a sledgehammer to break into an empty Dutch museum to steal a £5 million Van Gogh.
Museums and galleries are a vital part of travel and tourism. The British Museum attracted about 5.9 million visitors between April 2019 and March 2020. So when a new one opens it’s a big deal, and, Covid willing, we’re adding a bunch more to the must-see list…
Bourse de Commerce, Paris (above)
Housed in a spectacular domed former stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce will be home to 5000 pieces from the collection of billionaire French businessman, Francois Pinault. Having previously renovated two museums and a theatre in Venice, Pinault is definitely a safe pair of hands to marshall the €100m Bouse project. It’s unclear what exactly will be in the gallery, but Pinault’s collection is heavy on the contemporary modern with pieces Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, and Cindy Sherman.
When does it open: TBC, but this year hopefully
Grand Egyptian Museum
Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza
When visitors finally walk through the doors of this museum, they’ll be greeted by an 83-tonne, 11-meter statue of ex-pharaoh Ramses II. A pretty good start. And when the museum does open to the public, they’ll be able to peruse 100,000 artefacts including King Tut’s entire treasure collection and a huge area dedicated to Tutankhamun, including his three sarcophagi (one of which is covered in gold, casual) and his famous mask. Oh, and then there are the panoramic views of the pyramids.
When does it open: TBC, but mid-2021 has been mentioned
If you don’t know your Norwegian, Munchmuseet means ‘The Munch Museum’ and that’s exactly what this is: the world’s largest museum dedicated to a single artist, Edvard ‘I didn’t only paint The Scream’ Munch. But as compelling as Norway’s most famous artist’s work is, there are other reasons to visit this museum, specifically the fantastical and divisive building, along with its location on Oslo’s waterfront.
When does it open: Autumn
Albertina Modern, Vienna
Although it opened in May last year, for obvious reasons most people haven’t had the opportunity to visit. With 60,000 pieces by 5,000 artists (including Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman) it’s one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary art in a uniquely Viennese setting. Old world sitting very comfortably with the new.
When does it open: Mon to Sunday, 10-6, if you’re in Vienna
X Museum, Beijing
This thrilling new venue opened in May last year, but only to Chinese art fans while international borders remain closed. The brainchild of two young (and let’s face it, probably pretty rich) art collectors, the museum will represent ‘creatives of their generation, including designers, architects, celebrities, scientists and musicians as well as artists.’ If the museum’s bizarre but compelling website is anything to go by, we can’t wait to get through the doors.
When does it open: Tuesday to Sunday, 11-6, if you’re in Beijing