Iranian museums reopen after year-long COVID hiatus
Tehran, Iran – Iran reopened museums in Tehran and other cities on Sunday after being closed for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Museums in Tehran and other major cities which are no longer coded in red, which means the risk of contracting the virus was very high, reopened on Sunday,” the director of Iranian museums told AFP, Mohammad-Reza Kargar.
“Tourists and visitors are invited to come back while respecting the (health) measures.”
A country with a thousand-year-old history, Iran is full of 746 museums, including 170 in the capital.
“We are absolutely delighted, and we think people are too because they were fed up with staying at home, and visiting museums improves their mood,” Kargar said in his office at the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage. .
“We have security protocols in place, of course, and the number of visitors will depend on the space at our sites to keep the public safe and healthy.”
Kargar said that only students, researchers and staff have been allowed to enter the museums in the past 14 months.
Iranian museums attracted more than 21 million visitors the year before the Covid-19 epidemic which forced museums to close in May 2020.
On Sunday, the National Museum of Iran with its magnificent collection of treasures dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages was still deserted.
“We have to wait for the news to spread and the schools to reopen for people to come back,” said Firouzeh Sepidnameh, head of the museum’s pre-Islamic collections.
Iran, the worst-affected country in the Middle East, has confirmed more than 5.4 million cases of the coronavirus, including 117,000 deaths, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Sunday.
Out of a population of 83 million, 29 million Iranians have received a first dose of vaccination and nearly 14 million have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
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