Fri, 27 May 2022

Haircut protest staged in museums
20 Jan 2022, 05:16 GMT+10

Beauty services were offered in Dutch museums and concert halls, in line with existing Covid rules

Dozens of museums, theaters and concert halls in the Netherlands have staged an unusual protest against current Covid-19 restrictions by opening their venues for hairdressing, manicures and gym sessions.

Some businesses, such as hair and nail salons, gyms and non-essential stores were recently allowed to reopen after full lockdown, while museums, theaters, restaurants and cinemas remained closed. Many in the cultural sector have questioned the logic of the arrangement and on Wednesday, staged a protest to demonstrate what they feel is an absurd situation. They used the hashtag #OpenCultuur (Open Culture) to draw attention to the demonstrations on social media.

A major Amsterdam concert hall, Concertgebouw, posted photos and videos of hairdressers taking center stage and being entertained by musicians as they cut hair.

"The only way to listen to classical music in Amsterdam (and the most epic way to have your hair cut)," reads the venue's tweet.

Those who took part in the protest underlined that their actions has nothing to do with an anti-vaccination stance or Covid-19 denial - and the institutions were following the pandemic rules with regard to QR-codes, mask-wearing and social distancing.

The Museum of Limburg in Venlo chose to become a gym on Wednesday, saying that its own staff "left their workplace for an active Zumba session."

Meanwhile, their colleagues in the world-famous Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, along with some members of the public, could enjoy manicures surrounded by the artist's paintings.

Though some of the institutions, including one offering yoga classes, received warnings from authorities, the day of protest was ultimately branded a success.

"We look back on a successful day of action! Young and old have played sports in many museums, drawing attention to the reopening of the cultural sector. Unfortunately, a number of museums were forced to close early," the Dutch Museums Association said on Twitter.

The Dutch government pledged to reconsider further easing of restrictions on January 25.


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