Florence City Council: we won't reopen museums on May 18, it costs too much and we don't have the money

The City of Florence has announced that it will not reopen its museums on May 18: it costs too much for the city's coffers.

Museums in Florence will not reopen on May 18: it is in fact too expensive for the city’s coffers. Councillor for Culture Tommaso Sacchi made this known today. “In these days,” the alderman explained, “we have collected the estimates and evaluations of the technical area of Palazzo Vecchio: a month and a half of partial opening, only on weekends, of just three museums would cost half a million euros. This is money we don’t have, and without the assurances we have requested from the government over the last five weeks on even partial relief from the tourist tax, we cannot commit this expense.”

Keeping their doors closed will be some of the most important museums in the city and in Italy: thus, Palazzo Vecchio, the Museo Novecento, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the Santa Maria Novella Complex, the Brancacci Chapel, the Stefano Bardini Museum, Forte di Belvedere, the Murate Art District, the Salvatore Romano Foundation, and the Torre San Niccolò will be barred. Put together, these are museums that add up to more than a million visitors a year.

Sacchi says the City has done everything to avoid going that far-a “painful and also highly symbolic” decision, Sacchi calls it. “But we are forced to do it,” he adds, making it clear that reopening museums with few visitors is not worthwhile: “we would have very limited visitors and high expenses to adapt to the directions that we know will be arranged to deal with the health risk. All with a total shortfall in the City’s coffers, to date, of 190 million euros.”

The City of Florence had tried to keep the museums open until the last second: Mayor Dario Nardella had even considered a free opening for everyone on the weekend of March 6-8, and a social controversy ensued with virologist-influencer Roberto Burioni (in the end, it was decided to cancel the initiative).

But museums are not the only ones suffering. Indeed, Sacchi, who is also president of the Tuscany Theater Foundation, announced that the theaters will not reopen either. “Regarding the gradual reopening of our theaters and in agreement with the director Marco Giorgetti,” he let it be known, “we have decided not to reopen: again, too high are the costs of sanitation and due to the reduction of the public, we estimate an additional 40,000 euros per month, with a public that is rightly cautious and affected by this economic crisis. I think it is better to continue with social shock absorbers and reopen when there is no more risk of relapse or recrudescence of the pandemic.”

Florence City Council: we won't reopen museums on May 18, it costs too much and we don't have the money
Florence City Council: we won't reopen museums on May 18, it costs too much and we don't have the money

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