As museums around the world begin to reopen some are still figuring out their futures.

By Andrea Romano
June 01, 2020

One thing is for certain: Life after coronavirus will look very different.

Since lockdown measures have forced many businesses, restaurants, and other public places to close, it stands to reason that some of the places we frequented before the pandemic may not reopen when the time comes.

The same goes for museums, unfortunately.

Recent reports from UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) say that one in eight museums worldwide may not open again after the extended quarantine and shelter-in-place orders around the world, Art Net News reported.

According to the UNESCO report, 90 percent of the world’s museums (around 85,000 in total) were forced to close. Some museums have been engaging the public via social media or virtual tours, but this doesn’t always translate into much needed funds in order to stay afloat.

According to ICOM, out of the 1,600 international museums that were surveyed, 13 percent reported that they had plans to close permanently, and another 19.2 percent said the future of their museums were uncertain. As for the museums that reported they would open their doors again, 83 percent said that they would reopen with reduced programming.

Credit: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

“We are fully aware of and confident in the tenacity of museum professionals to meet the challenges,” said ICOM president Suay Aksoy in a statement, according to Art Net News. “However, the museum field cannot survive on its own without the support of the public and private sectors. It is imperative to raise emergency relief funds and to put in place policies to protect professionals and self-employed workers on precarious contracts.”

While rushing out to the museum as soon as it's open may be tempting, remembering to practice social distancing, even after your city reopens, is imperative to public health. In the meantime, donating to your favorite museums is highly encouraged to help make sure they stay open — even though it’s unclear when that may be.