How does the pandemic affect museums


Each eighth museum in the world may not resume work after quarantine. This conclusion was reached by UNESCO experts from the International Council of Museums (ICOM). According to surveys, more than 85,000 cultural heritage sites and museums - that is, about 90% of the total number of museums in the world - closed their doors to visitors during the Coronavirus period.

Most museums, even those that have successfully coped with the online switchover, cannot exist without visitors: this contradicts their nature and significantly reduces their income. The Hermitage may lose about half of its annual budget ( about 2.5 billion rubles) due to the coronavirus, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts estimates its daily losses at 2 million rubles, the Tretyakov Gallery loses about 19 million rubles weekly.

Even the opening of the museum to visitors cannot help in solving the existing financial difficulties, but only intensify them. Museums are ready to work at a loss after a knockdown. The largest museums are losing and will continue to lose large sums, but despite this, they are not threatened with closure. Even so, no state will allow a global cultural institution to go bankrupt - there are too many losses, including reputational ones.

Most major world museums have endowments. But there are many restrictions on endowment spending. It is assumed that this money will be used to finance strategic needs of the museum, such as educational, inclusive programs, collection development, etc., but not to cover emergency expenses. Even this financial " safety net " may not work right now. Big museums can count on government support and their own "financial cushions" - and it won`t be easy for them anyway. It will be hardest times for private collections, non-artistic museums, apartment museums and small provincial collections - many of them won`t survive the crisis. The small museums will be damaged, and they won`t be able to recover for many years ahead.

Source: RBС. Alexandra Avdeeva