Left Menu
Development News Edition

Dutch king opens disease exhibition delayed by pandemic

Museum director Amito Haarhuis said the timing of the exhibition and the pandemic were a coincidence that underscored the importance of the subject matter. “We had already thought that we wanted to warn for a new unknown disease," he told The Associated Press ahead of the opening.

PTI | Leicester | Updated: 16-07-2020 19:59 IST | Created: 16-07-2020 19:39 IST
Dutch king opens disease exhibition delayed by pandemic
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

A museum in the Dutch city of Leiden finally opened an exhibition on contagious diseases through the ages on Thursday after a long delay caused by the disease currently sweeping the world — COVID-19. Dutch King Willem-Alexander, who briefly self-isolated with his wife and three daughters as a precautionary measure after returning from a skiing vacation in Austria in March, opened the "Contagious!" exhibition at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave.

The exhibition — with real-life social distancing stickers on the floor — was updated at the last minute to include references to the coronavirus pandemic, but also sheds light on the history of contagious diseases from the bubonic plague and smallpox to AIDS. On one stand, a dummy wearing a replica of a plague doctor's long robe and elaborate face mask with a long beak stuffed with aromatic spices to protect against infection stands near another mannequin wearing the blue medical gown, plastic goggles, face mask and disposable gloves that have become one of the signature images of the battle to treat victims of COVID-19 in intensive care units around the globe.

Some of the historical artifacts on display owe more to superstition than to science. An onyx-handled silver rattle complete with bells and whistle was believed to protect babies from ill health and accidents. Museum director Amito Haarhuis said the timing of the exhibition and the pandemic were a coincidence that underscored the importance of the subject matter.

"We had already thought that we wanted to warn for a new unknown disease," he told The Associated Press ahead of the opening. "Nobody knows where it will break out or when, but we do know, we've learned that from history, that there will always be a new disease. And we wanted to warn for that and then suddenly we don't need it. We didn't need to warn anymore because there was an outbreak." The exhibition was to have opened April 15, but the museum put it on ice in March as the government introduced lockdown restrictions to rein in the spread of the coronavirus. Haarhuis said the exhibition — and its timing — have already sparked a lot of interest. He believes it can prove useful to help visitors assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Now I do feel that the exhibition can help people also to reflect on what has happened to us in the past months, to put it in context. Looking back at history," he said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Videos

Latest News

Sports News Roundup: Formula One's betting push is driven by data; China's Li surprised by resurgence at PGA Championship and more

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.NBA roundup Bucks rally vs. Heat, claim Easts top seedGiannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scored 33 points each as the Milwaukee Bucks -- who trailed by 23 in the first half -- rall...

Australian state records 466 cases, 12 deaths

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 466 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths, including another man in his 30s. The figures were released as the city of Melbourne remained in lockdown and under an overnight curfew. Victoria Premier D...

Entertainment News Roundup: R&B star Lizzo to produce TV programming for Amazon's streaming service; AMC expects to reopen all international theaters in three weeks and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.U.S. record producer Detail charged with raping five womenGrammy Award-winning producer Detail, who once worked with Beyonce, has been charged with raping five women and sexually a...

Death toll from Indian passenger aircraft accident rises to 18

The death toll from an Indian passenger aircraft accident has risen to 18, while 16 people have been severely injured, a senior government official said on Saturday.The Air India Express plane, which was repatriating Indians stranded in Dub...

Give Feedback