Total number of museums: approximately 250
of them are state-subsidised
5 of them are state-owned

The following numbers describe the state-owned and state-susidised museums
Cultural history museums: 69
Arts museums: 39
Archaeological museums: 31
Natural history museums: 7

15 of the musuems cover several areas, e.g. both cultural, art, and natural history.

Some of the museums have several branches or exhibition sites. All of the museums cover a particular area of responsibility that is geographically, chronologically or thematically defined. Some cultural heritage museums cover the history of their local area in general, while others specialise in e.g. agriculture, fisheries or industry. In the same way, some art museums have comprehensive collections, while others concentrate on certain schools or the works of one particular artist.

The Association of Danish Museums

Members: 172
Funding: 100 % of the organisation’s secretary is funded by membership fees. The organisation’s department of education is funded by both the state (60 %) and member ships fees (40 %).

Advocacy Initiative 

The Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, wants to revise the distribution of state funding to the Danish museums. She will look into the interaction between state and municipalities and the five core functions of the Danish museums: collection, conservation, registration, dissemination and research. On behalf of the Danish museums, the Association of Danish Museums, has formulated 5 priciples for the distribution of the state funding. The Association continously participates in the public debate about the issue and hold meetings with the minister of culture and other politicians. Read more online.

Other Museum Organisations at National Level

SAMMUS (Sammenslutningen af Museumsforeninger i Danmark)

Legislation and Structure


The Danish Act on Museums was altered in 2013.

Legislation and legal framework (altered 2013) The Danish  Act of Museums, chapter 1:

• § 1. The purpose of this Act shall be to promote the activities and cooperation of professional and financially viable museums with a view to safeguarding Denmark’s cultural and natural heritage and develop the influence of these in interaction with the world around us.

• § 2. Through collection, registration, conservation, research and communication, the museums shall locally, nationally and globally:

  1. actualise knowledge on cultural and natural heritage and make it accessible and relevant 
  2. develop the use and importance of cultural and natural heritage to the general public and
  3. secure cultural and natural heritage for future use.
  • The state-subsidised museums are primarily funded by local authorities.
  • Many museums also receive grants from foundations.
  • Around 1/5 of the state-subsidised museums are owned by one or several local authorities
  • 3/4 are independent institutions
  • Less than 1/10 are owned by an association whose objective is to run the museum.
  • The state grants annual funding to the state-subsidised museums is equivalent to approx. 31% of the funding from local authorities and foundations.

Collection Mobility

Denmark does not have a public loan policy, but a set of recommendations of public loans.
Each museum is responsible of including terms and conditions of loans in their regulations.

Indemnity Scheme
According to section 32 of the Danish Museum Act, the Ministry of Culture may approve that the state assumes the insurance risk of loans of Danish and foreign objects to significant exhibitions at Danish museums and exhibition venues. The insurance scheme is called National Indemnity.

Insurance Policy
The state-owned museums are not allowed to take out a private insurance policy. The state-subsidised museums can choose whether they want to be covered either by a Government Indemnity or by a private insurance policy.

Last updated in August 2018.