First in New York and now London, Instagrammers are persuading the world’s biggest galleries and theatres to let them in after hours – with stunning results

When Dolly Brown, or @londonlivingdoll as she’s known on Instagram, first spotted the hashtag #emptymet and its accompanying, captivating images of a deserted Metropolitan Museum in NYC, she was intrigued.

Pioneered by American Instagrammer Dave Krugman, the empty movement began in 2013 when New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art gave him access to the building after it had closed to the public. He invited other Instagrammers, and together they began to take – and share – photographs of the Met’s famous spaces, transformed out of hours by the absence of the general public.

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