By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Museum Row in Philadelphia will see tons of foot traffic during the Pope’s visit at the end of September, so much so, that some of the institutions will be compelled to close, that weekend. That kind of attention brings with it security concerns.READ MORE: Suspect In Custody After Shootout With SEPTA Police Outside SEPTA Terminal In Upper Darby
The World Meeting of Families Festival on Saturday, September 26th on the Ben Franklin Parkway will include entertainment by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and singers (Italian tenor,) Andrea Bocelli and Colombian musical artist, Juanes.
The following day, Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the Parkway.
Each day could draw well over a million people.
That’s why the Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation are among the institutions that are closing that weekend.
Barnes Foundation Senior Vice President Jan Rothschild says, “We are required by the secret service to be closed.”
She says the Barnes is working on extending hours the other days because many who are coming are “culturally diverse and interested in the arts.”READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Latif Williams Turns Self In For Alleged Murder Of Temple Student Samuel Collington
Museum of Art president Gail Harrity says they too will have expanded evening hours during the week.
“Wednesday night is pay what you wish night. We’re open til 9.”
And the Art Museum will open the Monday following the Holy Father’s mass, and the Barnes will open the following Tuesday, when it’s normally closed to the public.
Harrity says they are highlighting tours of Christian religious art, and you should check out the postcard-sized 15th century oil work by Jan van Eyck of Saint Francis of Assisi.
“The Pope’s namesake, it’s an extraordinary masterpiece.”
As timing would have it, the week before the Pope’s arrival, the Franklin Institute begins a “Vatican Splenders” exhibit, featuring works of art and objects, many of which have never left Vatican City, including a cast of Saint John Paul II’s hand.
The Franklin Institute is still working out details, and would like to at least open the portion of the building with that exhibit.MORE NEWS: Driver Injured After Crashing Into Burlington County Flooring Business
The Academy of Natural Sciences, which will be featuring an exhibit of materials collected by “clergy naturalists,” will have extended hours that week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, open until 9 p m., rather than closing at 4:30 in the afternoon. But, the Academy has not made a decision yet whether to close that weekend.