An art gallery in Paris has turned to ‘winged’ headware inspired by an ancient Chinese dynasty to ensure its visitors respect coronavirus social distancing rules as they peruse the displays.
The colorful papier-mache hats have long extensions, or wings, to keep the gallery’s art lovers one meter apart, an idea drawn from the headgear worn by officials in the Song dynasty which ruled China between 960 and 1279.
One legend says the first Song emperor ordered his officials to wear the winged hats so that they could not gossip without being heard.
Museum director Gaspard Delanoe said the hats have brought smiles to guests since the gallery reopened two weeks ago, as France started easing lockdown measures on May 11.
“The role of artists in a moment like this is really to be able to create bubbles of imagination and new bubbles of joy,” he said. “Art can help people to be together again.”