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The state of Bremen has lifted the ban on opening museums imposed in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. From Thursday, May 7th, the German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History (DSM) will therefore gradually open to the public and would like to contribute to mitigating the social consequences of the pandemic with its educational and leisure facilities.
"In these challenging times, we would like to help ensure that cultural life in Bremerhaven regains its diversity," says Prof. Dr. Sunhild Kleingärtner, Managing Director of the German Maritime Museum. "As a public cultural institution, it is important for us to assume social responsibility, especially in these times, and to fulfil our educational mission as one of eight Leibniz Association research museums in Germany - of course always in compliance with hygiene regulations," says Kleingärtner. "We want to reach people who long for variety and new impulses. With the reopening of our museum, we would like to support in particular families with children in Bremerhaven and the region who suffer from corona-related restrictions on schooling and childcare. We would like to support them in their leisure activities and homeschooling".
The opening of the museum will take place gradually. After the cog hall can be visited again on Thursday, May 7th, the ships in the outside area will be accessible again from Saturday, May 9th. Finally, on Monday, 11 May, the Bangert Building will open its doors, which houses the special exhibitions "SEA CHANGES - World and Sea in Transition" and "360° POLARSTERN - A Virtual Research Expedition". The museum is open daily from 10 to 18 o'clock.
Children and families can obtain various age-appropriate rally bows at the entrance, with which they can explore the "Bremer Kogge" of 1380 or the ships in the museum harbour. Material for a GPS tour through the museum harbour can also be borrowed at the ticket offices. Cooperation with schools is also possible. By arrangement, the German Maritime Museum offers learning materials with which pupils can explore the museum ships alone, in pairs or with their parents, for example, and answer questions.
The German Maritime Museum will not accept fixed admission fees in the coming weeks. "We are aware that many people in the Corona crisis have to struggle with severe financial losses", says Kleingärtner. "Many employees are on short-time work, self-employed people are breaking off orders, others have lost their jobs. "We do not want people to forego a visit to a museum because of personal financial setbacks. That is why we are not charging a fixed admission price up to and including 24 June. Instead, we are putting up boxes and asking everyone who is able to support our museum work with a contribution at their own discretion."
The reopening will be carried out under strict rules of hygiene and contact, in order to protect both guests and staff of the museum. Among other things, there will be distance markings, transparent hygiene barriers at the cash desks, disinfection facilities at the entrances as well as at the listening stations and a pre-designed circular route. As with public transport and shopping, it is compulsory to wear a mouth and nose protector when visiting the museum. The virtual reality glasses in the Polarstern exhibition cannot be used for reasons of preventive health protection. However, museum guests can access the 360° videos via QR codes and watch them on their own smartphones.