Museums are facing another funding crisis – but let us not forget that there are many (easily rectified) factors that contribute to their lack of funds.
Firstly, there is the fact that in many cases they have far more artefacts than they can ever display, but are not allowed to dispose of them – so must pay for the storage, maintenance & security for them.
Next though, is the fact that while some of the artefacts in their collections are disputed, other countries have offered loans of new high profile pieces if they are returned. People do not come back to museums to see the same stuff that was there the previous time – they come to see new artefacts such as these. Furthermore, temporary exhibitions are often subject to an admission charge, whilst the rest of the museum is free admission.
Surely re-thinking such factors could help to close the funding gap?
Let’s not do the timewarp again
Without money to buy new pieces, our museums will become monuments to the tastes of our predecessors. Where could the funds come from?
Friday November 14, 2003
Britain’s museum directors warn that we are heading for a crisis. Lack of money to buy new things means that museums and galleries, rather like Miss Haversham, will become frozen in time, monuments to the tastes of 19th- and early 20th-century collectors and curators, but not of those today.
The fact that galleries have been refurbished and extended – from the National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing to the creation of Tate Modern – masks a stasis in the collections, they say, which damages our cultural life far more than the leaky roofs or dodgy lavatories lottery money has largely done away with.
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