On Monday, International Museum Day, two new studies show that museums are another sector of the world economy that has been significantly weakened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
13% of museums worldwide may not reopen after COVID-19 crisis, studies find
STEPANAKERT, MAY 19, ARTSAKHPRESS: According to the studies conducted by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM), 90% of museums worldwide were forced to close their doors and stop in-person operations during the crisis. Of the more than 85,000 museums that have closed, an estimated 13% are at risk of never reopening because of the heavy financial losses incurred during this time, Voice of America reports.
The two studies looked to determine the impact of COVID-19 on museums worldwide and explain how institutions have adapted to the pandemic. UNESCO and ICOM say that they will use this information to find ways to support institutions in the wake of the virus.
They also found that only 5% of the museums in Africa and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were able to offer online content to their visitors. Even museums with digital capabilities will face a substantial decrease in income if they are not able to host visitors in person, debilitating their ability to support their employees and continue operations and outreach.
“Museums play a fundamental role in the resilience of societies. We must help them cope with this crisis and keep them in touch with their audiences,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in a press release. “This pandemic also reminds us that half of humanity does not have access to digital technologies. We must work to promote access to culture for everyone, especially the most vulnerable and isolated.”