Quality of air leads Australia to close galleries to protect famous art works

Art Director of the National Art Gallery in Australia closes door to protect the staff and the art work from the harmful smoke of the fire clouding Canberra, Australia

The national gallery in Australia closes its door on Monday fearing that the art works would be effected by the smoke drifting in because of the fires. The smoke in the Australian capital was the worst compared to any other city in the world on Monday which led several offices to request its staff to stay at home and keep themselves safe during the fire.

The Matisse and Picasso art exhibition happening in the National Gallery of Australia has borrowed art work from the Musée Picasso in Paris. The gallery art director Nick Mitzevich said that the doors are being closed to protect the art work and to safeguard the staffs from any harm during the ongoing fire in the country.

National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Australia Wikimedia Commons

Concerns over public health

The quality of air in Canberra was alarming as of Monday which led the gallery to shut down. Even though Canberra is not in any imminent danger because of the fire, the public's safety is still in danger because of the dark skies and dangerous levels of smoke. The authorities advised the 400,000 people of the capital city to avoid any physical activity following the growing smoke this week.

Early on Monday, the smoke quality was at hazardous levels. The smoke from the fire has drifted as far as South America in less than a week according to the images released by NASA. Acrid smokes continue to blanket the city.

The exhibition has art works by Picasso of his wife Olga and lover Marie-Therese which were loaned from Paris. According to Mitzevich, the opening of the gallery would depend on the day to day analysis of the climatic conditions. The art collection in the gallery is worth around $6 billion and this unprecedented step is to protect the work and history of several artists.