City blocks access to 'Bean' during COVID-19 outbreak

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The iconic Cloud Gate, more often referred to as the "Bean," is now closed to the public amid COVID-19 outbreak.

The city blocked access to the statue and plaza Saturday as visitors and tourists flooded the city to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, albeit a little more somber than years past after parades and festivities were cancelled in an effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading further, according to the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The monument by artist Anish Kapoor was unveiled to the public in 2004 and is beloved by both locals and selfie-snapping tourists alike.

Though the functional piece of art serves as a gate to Millennium Park, the park itself is still open to the public as of Saturday evening, though all events and tours through April 12 have been cancelled.

In addition to the "Bean," the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have also closed the Chicago Cultural Center, Clarke House Museum and exhibitions at Expo 72 and the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower. The Maxwell Street Market has also been cancelled.