UNESCO: cooperation, support, research and digital for post-Covid museum recovery

UNESCO has released a new survey analyzing the situation of museums after a year of the pandemic and providing some suggestions for recovery.

A new survey published byUNESCO analyzes the situation after a year of the Covid-19 pandemic of 104,000 museums in 87 member states. On average, museums were closed 155 days last year, and many have been forced to close further since the beginning of 2021, resulting in a 70 percent drop in attendance and a 40 percent to 60 percent drop in revenues on average compared to 2019. For nearly half of the member states’ museums, public subsidies have also fallen dramatically, to 40 percent of the amount of subsidies before the pandemic.

Prolonged closures, staggering declines in attendance and revenues are weighing on the organization of the museum sector and making it more difficult to maintain or secure buildings, as well as deal with the public.

According to this report, museums would play an essential role in economic and social life and post-Covid recovery. Recommendations are made here, such as large-scale use of digital especially for cataloging collections and measures to support education, research and training.

“The role we reserve for museums in post-pandemic recovery policies speaks volumes about the values we want to advance as a society,” commented UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “We must not lose sight of the fundamental principle of access to culture, of preserving our common heritage, in all its diversity. States have an essential role to play in supporting museums in these difficult times, through cultural policy, not only to ensure their survival but to prepare them for the future.”

UNESCO identifies three key points for the post-Covid recovery of the museum sector: first of all, it is necessary to provide a platform where they can dialogue and discuss the impact of the crisis caused by Covid-19 and thus ensure international cooperation among museums. There is also a need for economic support of museums by public institutions to ensure their future. Finally, member states will need to be accompanied in developing the most appropriate measures in favor of the museum sector and especially in strengthening their capacity and awareness of their social role: museums should develop projects aimed at education, research and training.

UNESCO: cooperation, support, research and digital for post-Covid museum recovery
UNESCO: cooperation, support, research and digital for post-Covid museum recovery

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