Receptionists will be critical in phase 2 of museums: don't economize on them

Receptionists will be crucial in the so-called phase 2 of museums. Therefore, they will not have to be cut, and there should be no economizing on their figure.

The curtain that has fallen in recent weeks on the world of culture is not enough to hide the economic and structural crisis that all companies and institutions operating in the sector have been facing. Beginning with museums, which have not only seen all kinds of revenue reset overnight, but will now also have to plan an adequate organization of visits before opening to the public.

In the magma of new rules and regulations (both governmental and regional) it is difficult to venture visitation management guidelines, but on some points the assumptions of many insiders converge. Reception and supervisory staff will have to be at the forefront of making sure that Covid-19 containment measures are adhered to. So from beautiful figurines as someone had unhappily apostrophized them, the reception and security staff will be able to play an active and fundamental role in ensuring safety distances, measuring temperature at the entrance, and maintaining the restricted access of visits in the most restricted spaces and at the most crowded points. In short, never more than in this period will we need these operators who, if properly trained, could be the trait d’union between the first visitors and the works of art.

Visitatore alla Galleria Borghese il giorno della riapertura
Visitor at the Borghese Gallery on reopening day

Unfortunately, in order to cope with the economic crisis, starting with small private institutions down to some large museums, a major cut in these figures is being considered. We will wander the halls without supervisory assistants while curators, teaching and communication experts will work at home in smart working mode. So from empty cities we will find ourselves in empty museums confronting art in a lonely dialogue, not necessarily edifying.

The greatest hope is that we will not have to economize on this very category of personnel at a time in history when we will badly need to meet real people after a forced marathon of video lectures and virtual talks to which we have become sadly accustomed. Visiting assistants will be the first contact and the most active protection system to rely on when we return to museums. We also do not distance ourselves from those who watch over our safety.

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