Museums during COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has had and will have an unprecedented impact on museums all over the world. To better understand the status quo and what might come next, we launched a survey to map COVID-19’s impact on the museum sector. We are supporting the museum sector with data and information about the situation as well as monitoring re-opening dates in an interactive map, which we are illustrating further with best practices and policies.

NEMO survey on museums and COVID-19

NEMO was quick in setting up a survey to map how museums are reacting to and coping with the sudden closures. Answers from almost 1000 museums from 48 countries were collected between 24 March and 30 April 2020. NEMO has analysed the data to track how museums in Europe have been affected in the first weeks and to predict how the situation might develop in the future. Based on the findings, NEMO is also offering recommendations to stakeholders at all levels.

Museums re-open in Europe

After getting an overview of the impact that COVID-19 has had on museums and how they are reacting to and coping with the pandemic, we are looking more closely at the re-opening of museums in Europe. With the help of our members, we have created a map that gives a quick overview of European countries' plans to re-open museums to the public. If managed well and if appropriate security and safety measures are adopted, there is no reason to keep museums closed.

Best practices and policies

Digital initiatives
Finland’s first fully digital museum with exhibitions from 4 museums. Participate in tours, by yourself or with a group.

Screenshot from the museum's virtual exhibition on Rembrandt   © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza_Rembrandt and Amsterdam portraiture, 1590-1670

Digital initiatives
Immersive virtual tour of the temporary Rembrandt exhibition 

Post pandemic approaches
Campaign to encourage visitors to return to the museum

  © Image: Timea Jambor

Digital initiatives
Mostly free live streamed Creative Corona Classe.

National responses to COVID-19

NEMO's survey mostly caters to the European museum community but there are also excellent recommendations and guidelines from different countries across Europe.

NEMO Webinar: Museum lives in post-pandemia

In this NEMO Webinar from 6 May 2020, Sandro Debono, museum thinker and culture strategist, explores how institutions can sustain relevance over time even when circumstances dictate closure. It also provides practical suggestions as to how museums can keep sight of their communities' needs and ambitions as these evolve and change over time.