Arts & Culture
How the Getty Center Is Dealing with the Devastating Los Angeles Fires
How the museum is keeping its priceless collections safe.

Destructive wildfires have devastated Southern California this week, forcing nearly 200,000 people to evacuate their homes. The four largest fires have burned as much as 116,000 acres and schools, businesses, and the famed 101 freeway are all closed.

Not even high-profile estates are spared—Rupert Murdoch's home and vineyard has been scorched by the "Skirball fire" (a blaze named for its proximity to the Skirball Cultural Center). Celebrities including Maria Shriver, Lionel Richie, and Chrissy Teigen also announced they were evacuating.

Paris Hilton said she was also leaving her home, and included a video that has gone viral and shows the exit to the J. Paul Getty Center from the 405 freeway.

But the museum, which houses works by van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Manet, "is safe," a spokesperson said in an email Thursday. "The fire is not currently threatening the site, but we remain vigilant and concerned until it is completely contained.

A view of the Getty through the smoke.

These are certainly not the first fires that raged in Southern California and the Getty was built to withstand just such a danger. "The buildings are designed to protect the collections in the event of brushfire, with sophisticated air filtration systems, exterior sprinklers, fire doors, etc.," the representative added. "The buildings themselves are fire-resistant, and the landscaping and campus layout are all intended to prevent the spread of fire."

The Getty Center

On Thursday afternoon, the Getty Center announced on Twitter that it plans to reopen Friday after being closed Wednesday and Thursday.

While the "Skirball Fire" in the Bel-Air area near the museum is now reportedly 20 percent contained, it has burned 475 acres and the mandatory evacuation orders for 46,000 people remain in place.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sam Dangremond
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