Museums suffer large fall in income due to COVID-19, according to survey

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12th May 2020 19:29 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Museums suffer large fall in income due to COVID-19: A survey of European museums has revealed that since the outbreak of COVID-19, many are experiencing huge losses in income - some of up to 80%.

The survey, conducted by the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO), polled 650 museums from 41 countries and found that nine out of 10 (92%) have now closed their doors to the general public. The research sought to find out more about losses, as well as how institutions are resonding to the pandemic.

According to the research, 60% of museums have boosted their online presence since their institutions have closed, with 40% seeing an increase in traffic to their websites. Despite an increase in online activity, just 13.4% of those polled have increased their digital budgets, according to the findings. 

The research also gives insight into how much revenue museums are losing at this time, with Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum as well as the city's Stedelijk Museum, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, reportedly losing between €100,000 and €600,000 per week. The latter is due to reopen on 20 May 2020.

Interestingly, despite the financial losses experienced, many museums have managed to keep their staff in employment - with fewer than 100 museums saying they have had to let their staff go. Seven out of 10 said they have instead changed the daily tasks set for employees and set them up to work from home. 

NEMO said of the findings: “There is no fast-track back to normal. Rather than making a return to normal our goal, we must learn from this crisis in order to effectively respond, mitigate, adapt and integrate.

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