Will all our museums re-open?

By | Category: Travel destinations

The mainstream media has recently reported that some of our smaller museums may not re-open when the lock-down is finally lifted.

The National History Museum in London will re-open after the virus has abated but will smaller museums?

Museums like the Charles Dickins Museum in London’s Doughty Street and the Florence Nightingale Museum which is at St Thomas’ Hospital opposite the Houses of Parliament are mentioned as one’s that might not re-open.

there are dozens if not hundreds of others who have limped along for years. Could coronavirus be their downfall?

The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) has undertaken a survey across museums worldwide (the survey is underway until tomorrow so the conclusions may alter as more results are received) which confirms what most of us have thought – that most museums are closed. But those that rely on admission charges and their restaurants and shops to provide income will fare the worst. Those with free admission will suffer less.

It must mean that some will remain shut unless they can attract donors or government cash.

The big museums like the British Museum, the Louvre, the national museums of Scotland and Wales, the Ulster Museum, the Tate’s and the V&A’s will manage but the county based and the town museums may not be able to raise monies to stay open.

The other problem will be volunteers. Traditionally many organisations operating in tourism rely on volunteers. Will they return when the lockdown ceases? And will those that do return have to wear gloves and maintain a distance away from those viewing the exhibits at least until a vaccine is developed, trialled and tested?

Will the economic impact of the virus mean that local authorities will be so strapped for cash that they cannot afford many of the museums they fund?

And, above all, will visitors still want to visit places where many people are in a confined space?

Who, in the spring of 2020, would want to be a museum curator?

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