The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, which was closed since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened its museum and gardens Wednesday with a new Mesopotamian art exhibit.
The Getty Center in Brentwood remains closed to the public, but is expected to reopen next month. The Getty Library will reopen sometime afterward.
The villa’s Mesopotamian art exhibit, titled “Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins,” was slated to open a few days after the venue was forced to close due to the pandemic. It will run through Aug. 16, and includes 5,000-year-old writing, architecture and art. Artifacts include a silver cult vase of the Sumerian king Enmetena and a glazed brick lion from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon.
“The Getty Villa is one of the most unique experiences of any art museum, and we are delighted to be able to welcome visitors once again after more than a year’s closure,” said Timothy Potts, the director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
“Never have we had a more enticing combination of displays for them to enjoy,” he said. “As well as our collections of ancient Greek and Roman art, we are now able to present the most important exhibition of Mesopotamian art ever seen on the West Coast, on loan from the incomparable collections of the Musee du Louvre in Paris.”
He called it “a journey back to the origins of civilization that is not to be missed.”
Visitors are required to follow COVID-19 safety measures, such as following one-way routes in the galleries and gardens that facilitate social distancing. Certain galleries will be closed because they are too small to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
As always, visitors are required to make a free reservation online in advance of visiting the museum, and to avoid overcrowding, a limited number of reservations will be available each day.
The museum will also:
— require face coverings;
— check visitors’ temperatures upon arrival;
— not allow visitors or staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms to enter;
— require staff to wash hands regularly and urge visitors to do the same; and
— only have pre-packaged meals for sale at the cafe.
“I’m confident we have procedures in place to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff at the Villa,” said Bob Combs, director of security and visitor services.