After being closed for more than a year, the sound of people chatting echoed throughout the Inner Peristyle once again for the reopening of the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades on Wednesday, April 21.
“It’s like visiting old friends,” guest Thisbe Gensler said about the reopening of the Getty Villa.
Gensler was excited to see the Mesopotamia exhibit, which went on display in March last year but was quickly closed, along with the entire museum.
Upon arrival, visitors are required to wear face coverings, have their temperatures checked and maintain a social distance from others. Hand sanitizer stations and signs were placed around the museum to remind visitors of the protocols.
In order to accommodate social distancing, some galleries are currently closed. For COVID-19 safety protocols, the museum is limiting the daily number of advanced reservations to avoid gatherings. The current maximum number of visitors in the museum is 484, but Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum Timothy Potts said the number will increase within the next few months.
“We’re monitoring it to see how many we can accommodate and if there are any bottlenecks that we need to manage, so we will be gradually increasing the numbers,” Potts said. “But really it’s the number of tickets that are allocated each day.”
Potts is excited for visitors to see the Mesopotamia exhibit, which has been in the dark for more than a year.
“It’s the greatest collection ever brought to this country,” Potts said.
While the museum was closed, Potts said their employees weren’t affected. They were occupied with creating new displays and renovations being implemented.
Outdoor seating is available at the cafe and they are providing pre-packaged meals. Admission is still free; however, Potts said visitors need to reserve their ticket online in advance.
“I think it’s an entirely different experience,” Potts said. “Seeing something that’s four to five thousand years old, you don’t get that from an image in a book or even a high definition movie, it’s something you get from being in the presence of the object itself.”
Parking is $25 per car or motorcycle. The Getty Villa is located on Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades. The Getty Center on Getty Center Drive is scheduled to open in May.