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Museums and Cultural Institutions: COVID-19

Museums Could Face Permanent Closure Without Government Relief.

29 June 2020

Unesco and the International Council of Museums have reported that 1 in 8 museums could permanently close as a result of COVID-19. The American Alliance of Museums estimates that 30% of institutions may not be able to reopen without substantial government relief. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has pushed its reopening to mid-August with reduced opening hours. The Met will also not offer events or tours until the end of 2020 in order to comply with social distancing and has canceled its 2020 annual gala which is a valuable source of funding for the Met’s Costume Institute. 

The Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts received $200 million in federal relief funding. All three agencies are authorized to provide grants to support museum operations. The Association of Art Museum Directors has also announced it will temporarily allow member museums to engage in activities that are normally prohibited by its policies such as using income from restricted funds for general operating expenses. 

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