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'Come visit us, it's important': the Atomium reopens
Prime minister Sophie Wilmès, Princess Astrid, Prince Lorenz and Brussels mayor Philippe Close officially reopened the Atomium on Monday, in a ceremony filled with symbolism and hope.
The pre-eminent symbol of Belgium was saluted and acknowledged by leaders of all the levels of government and members of the royal family. They encouraged Belgian residents to support the Atomium by visiting, since foreign toursts cannot come.
"What we say to all the Belgian people, and the people living in Belgium, is come to visit us, it’s very important," mayor Philippe Close told The Bulletin. "While those in other countries can’t visit us, if the inhabitants of Belgium could come to visit the Atomium, we can save it and rebuild a future.”
Close added: "The Atomium is one of the symbols of Brussels and Belgium in particular, and today with the prime minister and members of the royal family we wanted to do something really special for the reopening of this building.
"As you know, all tourist sector events have been really hard by the Covid-19 crisis, and this reopening is a sign that we can live for the future. It’s very important to show to the people that there is a future."
During June, the new pandemic rules will be tested and the Atomium will be open from Thursdays to Mondays, 10.00 to 18.00. A maximum 150 visitors can be accommodated at any time. Their temperature will be taken at the entrance.
E-tickets for entry will be required as the physical box office will be closed. If you show up with no e-ticket you will be able to generate one with your smartphone.
Hand sanitiser will be provided and visitors are urged to wear masks. The visit will take place via a one-way circuit and access to the view from the top will be maintained. The lift can be used by six people, instead of the usual 16.
The visitor flow will be analysed and used to optimise the new circuit for the summer months. The current temporary exhibit, Bruegel: A Poetic Experience, has been extended to 15 November.