Quarter of Dutch museums could close because of coronavirus

Quarter of Dutch museums could close because of coronavirus

Up to a quarter of Dutch museums may be forced to close their doors within the next year because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis, research has revealed. 

Dutch museums struggling to survive 

A survey conducted by the Museum Association among its 400+ members has revealed that, due to months of forced closure and a reduced number of visitors, up to a quarter of museums in the Netherlands may have to close their doors for good. 

The survey revealed that privately owned museums and municipal museums have been particularly badly hit by the pandemic. These attractions generally get less than 40.000 visitors a year, and so many do not qualify for the 300-million-euro aid package that the Dutch government made available to the culture sector this spring

The Museum Association is asking for all museums to be compensated for the costs incurred by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, saying it is vital that the information and history held in museums remains accessible to the large and increasingly diverse public that enjoys museums across the country: “Even in the 1,5-metre society. Only together do the museums tell the whole, contemporary story of our ever-changing society. "

Effect of coronavirus on museums

The "intelligent lockdown" imposed by the government to limit the spread of coronavirus meant that all museums had to close their doors for more than two months. Since reopening on June 1, many museums have had to deal with adjusted opening hours and limited visitor capacity. Most museums are therefore receiving only a quarter the normal number of visitors. 

The Textile Museum in Tilburg is one of the museums that is struggling to survive. It only receives around 150 visitors a day, significantly lower than the daily average, and has started a poster and flyer campaign at local hotels and campsites to attract visitors. 

Meanwhile, the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam has already been forced to close its doors. "Together with my team, we were working to bring the vision of the bag, identity, fashion, business and society to life. Unfortunately, reality has overtaken us," said museum director Manon Schaap when the museum announced its closure in April.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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