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Museums Worldwide Begin to Reopen as Vaccination Centers

A number of shuttered arts institutions around the world have found a second calling as Covid-19 vaccination centers, the Art Newspaper reports. Among them are London’s Science Museum and the Black Country Living Museum (BLCM) in Dudley, UK. The Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds, UK, perhaps unsurprisingly, beat both of them to the punch, offering its gallery space for vaccinations back in December; it should be noted that the Thackray is conveniently located next door to St. James’s Hospital. In Italy, Turin’s Castello di Rivoli will partner with city health officials to offer vaccinations in its spacious third-floor galleries, where recipients may additionally enjoy the murals of Swiss artist Claudia Comte, which are on view there.

The museums join other seemingly unlikely venues—including a Lord & Taylor branch in New Jersey, a racetrack in Queens, a posh resort in Las Vegas, and California’s Disneyland—in providing much-needed space for mass vaccinations as the world struggles to exit the crushing grip of the nearly yearlong Covid-19 pandemic.

As it has for the production and approval of the vaccinations themselves, the timeline for the institutions’ conversions into inoculation centers varies. The BLCM, which serves as a location for the BBC’s Peaky Blinders, a period crime drama series, is expected to begin offering vaccinations by the end of January, while the Science Museum, which is partnering with the NHS and the local authority of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is said to be on track to begin offering the treatment sometime in February. Castello di Rivoli’s galleries will open for the purpose in March or April; by then, Comte is expected to have completed an audio piece to be enjoyed by those waiting for their shots.