March 11, 2020 / 7:24 PM / 24 days ago

Spain shuts Prado, other Madrid museums due to coronavirus

Security guards stand behind closed gates of El Prado museum as all of Madrid's state-run museums, including the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, are closed to the public due to the coronavirus epidemic that hit the Spanish capital in Madrid, Spain, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - All of Madrid’s state-run museums, including the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, will be closed to the public due to the coronavirus epidemic that has hit the Spanish capital, authorities said on Wednesday.

“The measure takes effect from tomorrow, March 12, until further notice,” Spain’s Culture Ministry tweeted.

The Reina Sofia, home to Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ and other famous modern art works, also tweeted about its closure.

Madrid has already closed schools for 15 days and banned large gatherings as it tries to grapple with a steep increase in coronavirus cases.

Health authorities said known cases in the capital region had risen to 1,024 from 782 on Tuesday - about half of the nationwide total.

Spain is now the second hardest-hit European country, behind Italy. Spanish authorities have reported 47 deaths, 31 of them in Madrid.

Reporting by Andrei Khalip and Jessica Jones; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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