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From April 29, 2021, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea is making its galleries available as a Covid-19 vaccination centre, in a pilot programme in collaboration with the health authorities of the city of Rivoli, just outside Turin. Castello di Rivoli will be the first museum in Italy to do so.
To support Italy’s national Covid-19 public vaccination plan, Castello di Rivoli conceived the idea of offering the Savoy royal palace’s vast galleries as a safe, socially distanced space for administering the vaccine to the public. This project has now also been adopted by Cultura Italiae – a group of cultural leaders throughout Italy – who, also inspired by Castello di Rivoli’s initiative, now propose a national campaign to reopen the nation’s shuttered cultural spaces as healthcare places for its citizens to receive the vaccine.
Art has always helped and healed. It provides an experience that includes and involves others, and can be a form of therapy and a way to treat trauma. Castello di Rivoli, Italy’s leading museum of contemporary art, with a strong public service mission, proposes thus to welcome the community back into its galleries as a space for administering Covid-19 Vaccines.
Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev comments:
“Art has always helped, healed and cured – indeed some of the first museums in the world were hospitals. Now we are repaying the favour, so to speak, and opening Castello di Rivoli’s galleries for the vaccine effort. Our museum – in a baroque palazzo – is well-equipped for this. We have enough space for a safe, socially distanced vaccine centre, and our friendly guides are well trained in monitoring the public. But beyond that, we – and all public museums – are committed to creating an accessible, pluralistic space to serve our community. Even while our exhibitions are closed, our buildings can continue to serve this purpose and fulfil our mission: arte cura – art helps.”
Because museums are well-equipped in terms of monitoring, security and timed entry, they provide ideal spaces for hosting vaccination sites. In partiular, Castello di Rivoli has state-of-the-art climate-control, thermo-scanners to ensure that no one with a temperature can enter the building, guards trained in guiding visitors through the building and access routes into and out of the building. Castello di Rivoli’s massive third-floor gallery of over 10,000 square feet, which provides ample and secure space for a socially distanced waiting room, vaccine booths and a comfortable post-vaccine monitoring area. The gallery currently hosts an installation of murals by the contemporary Swiss artist Claudia Comte (Grancy, 1983), which visitors can view during the vaccination process.
The Mayor of Rivoli, Andrea Tragaioli states,
“I fully endorse this incredibly important and high-profile offer to administer vaccines to citizens in the palatial rooms of the Museum of Contemporary Art at the Castello di Rivoli. Their spaces serve the function of the protocol required for the administration of the vaccine and I have already had a positive response from the ASL To3 (the local health authority); we must in any case wait for instructions from the Ministry of Health. The administration is keen to support in every way the museum’s praiseworthy initiative.”