| 19.8°C Belfast

National Gallery to extend opening hours after ‘huge demand’

The gallery became the first of the big institutions to reopen its doors earlier this month.

Close

A woman wearing a face mask outside the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

A woman wearing a face mask outside the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

A woman wearing a face mask outside the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

The National Gallery is extending its opening hours following “huge demand” from visitors.

The gallery, in Trafalgar Square, became the first of the big institutions to reopen its doors earlier this month, following the easing of lockdown measures.

Its director Gabriele Finaldi said: “We started welcoming visitors again on July  8 after an unprecedented 111 days with the doors closed.

Close

Visitors at the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

Visitors at the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

PA

Visitors at the National Gallery (Victoria Jones/PA)

“We wanted to use these early weeks of reopening to make sure we were offering the very best visitor experience in the very safest way, before increasing the number of visitors we can let in.

“Having successfully reopened and with huge demand from the public for our once-in-a-lifetime Titian exhibition, we are delighted to now extend our opening hours by a further two hours daily.”

The Gallery, which previously shut its doors at 4pm, will open until 6pm daily.

Its exhibition Titian: Love, Desire, Death, reopened after previously closing three days into its run.

Visitors follow one or two of three one-way art routes instead of meandering through the vast Gallery at leisure.

All visits, including free tickets to see its main collection, must be booked in advance.

There is a separate entrance and exit and two-metre social-distancing measures are in place throughout, while it is recommended visitors wear a face covering.

Tate is also opening its galleries later this month, while the Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and Science Museum are to reopen in August.

The National Gallery is open seven days a week. Opening hours from July 22 are daily 11am–6pm, Friday 11am–9pm.

PA