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Balboa Park's Timken museum to install military-grade anti-viral technology

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Posted at 8:05 PM, Nov 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-21 23:12:20-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the Timken Museum of Art remains shuttered due to coronavirus-related restrictions, museum officials say they're preparing for whatever a post-pandemic reopening will require.

The museum said this week that it plans to install military-grade anti-viral technologies, which will reportedly clean the air of harmful pathogens at a level higher than that of hospital operating rooms.

"The Timken and Putnam families, innovators themselves, created our free museum in 1965 as a result of their successes in technology and engineering," says museum Chairman of the Board Jessie Knight, Jr. "We are honored to carry on that tradition by being the first museum in the world to bring cutting edge, military grade technology into practical, everyday use."

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The Balboa Park museum had originally planned to incorporate an ultraviolet technology into its existing HVAC system that would eliminate 10% to 20% of airborne pathogens. The new system will "capture and kill" up to 99.7% of pathogens, the museum says.

"We take our mission of making fine art accessible to everyone very seriously, particularly on the heels of a pandemic when arts and culture are needed more than ever," the museum's Executive Director Megan Pogue said. "When our visitors return to the Timken, they can feel confident knowing we have made this significant, groundbreaking investment that provides a safe, welcoming and enriched environment for all."

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While the Timken is closed, the new anti-viral system will be installed and tested. The museum is also offering free online classes and lectures on art education and art-making activities and classes.

The museum hopes to reopen in 2021, following additional improvements.

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The Timken is not the only Balboa Park attraction using this time to enhance its offerings. Peter Comiskey, the Executive Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, says that nearly every museum in the park has been refreshing exhibits and facilities.

"While they've been closed, they've been taking advantage of, in some cases, completely removing all of their pieces and reworking their entire buildings," says Comiskey.