1 out of 4 museums in The Netherlands fear permanent closing due to COVID-19

 Detail of an iron handrail with view of the stairwell in the back.

A survey by the Netherlands Museums Association indicates that one out of four Dutch museums are in danger of closing permanently within the next year due to financial losses connected to COVID-19. The Museums Association demands adequate funding to help museums through the crisis.

The survey shows that especially private museums as well as small regional museums are at risk. The effects of the temporary closure and severe decrease in visitors can already be noted and the Handbag Museum in Amsterdam had to close its doors permanently in April already.

The Museums Association has made an urgent call for all museums to be compensated for the costs they incurred while the country was in lockdown as well as for the decrease in visitors due to social distancing measures. In a statement, the association writes that “The large and increasingly diverse public that museums throughout the country reach deserves that the huge cultural capital, that belongs to all of us, remains accessible to all.”

The support package of 300 million Euro that the Dutch government allocated to the cultural sector earlier this year is not sufficient and only available to some museums. Moreover, the cultural and creative sector in the Netherlands expects a €2.6 billion loss in 2020 which by no means will be covered by the additional support package of €600 million. The sector will be left with €2 billion in loss of income unless appropriate action is taken.