Museums, 78 million burned on coronavirus: a third of a year's revenue


Due to the coronavirus emergency, Italian museums burned 78 million euros in March, April and May alone. Istat estimates that.

Thehealth emergency over the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused serious damage to the coffers of Italy’s state museums: data on lost revenue were released today by Istat, which made an estimate based on visitors in recent years and concluded that museums, monuments, and archaeological areas, in March, April, and May (which are typically very high attendance months) had lost revenue of 78 million euros (Istat estimates that, had they been open, museums would have attracted 19 million visitors).

In fact, time series show that, in recent years, Italian museums had experienced a steady growth in visitor numbers, increasing over the past ten years (from 2010 to 2019), by 46.8 percent, at a rate of 1.7 million more visitors on average each year. This growth was hard hit by the coronavirus, which thus put an end to this trend, wiping out public participation that had known uninterrupted growth for quite some time. Since 2012, the numbers had continued to climb: from 37 million visitors that year to nearly 55 million in 2019 (down slightly from 2018, when there were 55.3 million visitors). Receipts had doubled from 2011, when state museums generated 117 million euros: instead, 242 million euros were generated in 2019.

By losing 78 million euros, we risk going back in time, to the levels of about five years ago: but we have to imagine that tourism will be curbed this year and therefore the figure assumed by Istat will be bound to rise even when museums return to visitation. Based on historical data and related trend dynamics, Istat projected that, without Covid-19, state museums in 2020 could have realized an 8.1 percent increase in visitors compared to 2019 (reaching 59.2 million) and a 12.8 percent increase in gross revenue (273 million). Numbers that, due to the pandemic effect, we will not reach.

Pictured: the Borghese Gallery. Ph. Credit L. Romano

Museums, 78 million burned on coronavirus: a third of a year's revenue
Museums, 78 million burned on coronavirus: a third of a year's revenue


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