SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Museums across San Francisco that have been closed for months due to the COVID-19 shelter in place order got a surprise phone call from the mayor’s office Monday, giving them the green light to reopen.

On Monday June 29, along with some other businesses, the city’s world famous museums will be allowed to reopen.

Director San Francisco Fine Arts Museum Tom Campbell warns restrictions will apply.

“It’s not rocket science, but we’ve been very thoughtful,” said Campbell. “It’s like the grocery stores, the hardware stores have stayed open. They do it by reduced numbers, everyone has to wear a mask and you do physical distancing.”

Some museums may not open right away, however.

The Museum of Modern Art still looks like a war zone with its plywood covered in graffiti still in place. The Museum Of African Diaspora and The Asian Art Museum look much better but they all have one thing in common. It takes money to stay open.

“We lost between, the shelter in place in mid-March and the end of June, we’re losing about $9-$10 million in earned revenue which is about fifteen percent of our annual income” says Campbell.

Campbell says the Museum of Fine Arts has a robust support base that keeps it from getting into too much trouble.

The Legion of Honor may not open for another two weeks because many of the exhibits will need careful prep work before returning to pubic exhibition.

Campbell is excited.

“We all love being in these museums, with these works of art, and with the audience, so we just can’t wait to open the doors again to the public.”

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