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Pitt Rivers Museum and Museum of Natural History to reopen on 22 September

Pitt Rivers Museum and Museum of Natural History to reopen on 22 September
Image: Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

The Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of Natural History have announced that they will both reopen to the public on Tuesday 22 September.

Dr Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, says: “I am delighted we can now open our doors again and welcome our much-missed audiences. I look forward to seeing the Museum come alive while visitors wander around enthused, inspired and surprised by the Pitt Rivers’ unique space that holds a world within.”

Professor Paul Smith, Director of the Museum of Natural History, added: “Our building has been eerily quiet and empty for a long while now, so we are really looking forward to seeing visitors enjoying the space and exhibits once more. This year is our 160th anniversary and to mark that we are reopening with a temporary exhibition looking at the past and future of the Museum, ahead of exciting new permanent exhibitions that will open in 2021.”

Both museums will be open from 10.00 am to 5:00 pm every day.

Entry to the museums is free but all visitors will need to pre-book a timed ticket, giving access to both museums.

Once in the museums, visitors are welcome to spend as long as they wish enjoying the collections. Due to space restrictions on the upper floors, access is currently limited to the ground floor spaces in both museums.

Over the past few months, museum staff have been working hard behind the scenes to adapt the Museum buildings and put in place measures to ensure people will have a safe and enjoyable visit.

Safety measures will include:

  • Timedticketed entry and limited visitor numbers
  • One-way routes in certain areas
  • Card payments only in the shop
  • All toilets and baby-changing rooms will be open
  • Queuing systems may be put in place where necessary, to maintain social distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene, including hand-sanitiser stations
  • All visitors will be required to wear face coverings (unless exempt for Access and Equality reasons).

The Museum Café inside the Museum of Natural History will remain closed but visitors can enjoy hot drinks and homemade cakes at the Horsebox Coffee Company on the Museum lawn.

Both museums will be opening early on Saturday 3 October for their Autism Special Opening. This will be a relaxed morning opening, running from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, for children on the autism spectrum and their families.

As the museums will be closed to the general public during this time, families can enjoy a quieter and less busy environment. Spaces are limited, so booking is essential. To make a booking, please email education@oum.ox.ac.uk

Pre-booked school groups are very welcome at both museums and booking information for these groups will be available on the museum websites.

For more information about the new safety measures in place and details on how to book tickets, please see the museum websites at prm.ox.ac.uk and oumnh.ox.ac.uk.

Having been closed to the public for so long, both museums are excited about seeing visitors enjoying the museum spaces and collections again and look forward to welcoming everyone back from the 22 September.