Home Museum institution Culture sector defies mayor, opening hair salons and gyms in protest against lockdown

Culture sector defies mayor, opening hair salons and gyms in protest against lockdown


Several theaters and museums in the Netherlands will demonstrate on Wednesday against the coronavirus measures which have always closed the cultural sector. Around 70 Dutch theaters and concert halls will be turned into hair salons, massage studios or beauty salons, where performances are also staged for the Hair Salon Theater campaign. Several mayors announced that they were not allowing the protest and would enforce coronavirus rules.

In the Hair Salon Thater, an initiative of Diederik Ebbinge and Sanne Wallis de Vries, customers are entertained by entertainers such as Jochem Myjer, Claudia de Breij and Youp van ‘t Hek while they get their haircuts or the like processing. Indeed, hairdressers were allowed to reopen last weekend while the cultural sector remains closed. Participating theaters include the Parktheater in Eindhoven, the Orpheus Theater in Apeldoorn and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

The capital’s mayor, Femke Halsema, has warned participating cultural institutions that they can expect a visit from law enforcement if they open their doors on Wednesday. The mayor of Nijmegen, Hubert Bruls, also president of the Security Council of Mayors who chair the 25 security regions, made the same call. Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven, among others, have also said they will apply the rules if necessary.

About twenty museums offer a one-off sports course or other initiatives. For example, a hair salon opens at the Van Gogh Museum and the Groninger Museum organizes a graffiti workshop as a gym lesson for the brain. The Fries Museum will serve as a yoga studio, as will the Tot Zover Funeral Museum. In addition to yoga, the Limburgs Museum also offers Zumba.

The Museums Association, which is behind the actions, thinks it makes no sense that museums are yet to be closed while shos are allowed to receive patrons again. “In terms of movements, 450 museums bear no relation to the movements of a total of 85,000 physical stores in the Netherlands,” according to the museum club.

The De Balie debate center in Amsterdam has created the Philosophical Society, the Community of Reason, to circumvent the rules of the coronavirus and open on Wednesday as a religious institution. Director Yoeri Albrecht visited the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday to set up the association that will hold its gatherings in De Balie.

“The Community of Reason is accessible, pragmatic and inclusive; access is free for all,” De Balie said in a statement. “This way we can also get performers and freelancers who are currently without help back to work.” Artists are called upon to manifest themselves. “Obviously, we offer them compensation.”

Wednesday’s first guest is Mohamedou Ould Slahi. The Mauritanian was imprisoned for 14 years without being formally charged in the American prison in Cuba, where he was tortured and humiliated. He was supposed to give a talk at De Balie at the end of October but had to cancel because his application for a work and residence permit was unsuccessful. This was organized in November by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND).

Albrecht announced his plans last weekend. “I don’t understand why you can meet in the Veluwe to discuss a 2000 year old book but not meet in the heart of Amsterdam to discuss a book from a month ago,” he said. he said on the WNL Op. Zondag TV show.

Visitors’ coronavirus passes will be checked on arrival and social distancing will be enforced.

The municipality of Amsterdam is investigating whether this construction is legally permitted, a spokesman for Mayor Halsema said when asked.