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S. Korea extends closure of national museums, libraries over coronavirus

All News 17:27 March 04, 2020

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday decided to extend the closure of major state-run art and history museums as well as public libraries and theaters by two more weeks amid continuing coronavirus outbreaks.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said 36 state-run museums, libraries and theaters across the country will remain closed for two weeks longer than previously announced till late March as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The culture ministry initially suspended operations of those state-run cultural facilities last week for a two-week period till this coming Sunday following a spike in coronavirus infections.

The latest extension will put the cultural facilities out of service till March 22 while the country fights to contain the spread of virus infections.

The list of the closed facilities include the National Museum of Korea and its 13 regional branches, the four outlets of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art as well as the three arms of the National Library of Korea.

In addition, five national performing art theaters such as the National Gugak Center and the National Theater of Korea, as well as seven state art companies including the Korean National Ballet and the Korea National Opera, will remain closed or suspend shows till March 22.

"The ministry will determine whether and when to reopen the state cultural and art facilities after March 23 after studying the development of the coronavirus spread," a ministry official said.

A visitor reads a notice of closure on a gate of the National Library of Korea, Sejong, on Feb. 23, 2020. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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