Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Museum funding cuts in the UK

8 UK Museums lose government funding.

I don't want to be pessimistic here - but there are limits to how much a museum can function on public support. I have worked at small museums before that have struggled along because they have little to no paid staff & small operating costs due to the size of the museum. The museums listed in the above article? They are going to struggle and possibly fail.

These are some of the bigger & more well-attended museums in London and the UK. I don't think that the public support and attendance will translate into enough funds for them to carry on as they are. Most who are free will have to introduce an entry fee, which a lot of people will balk at. The Horniman Museum - one with a fantatically rich collection and history - will, according to the above article, "lose more than £4m a year, around 85% of its budget." I suspect that is going to bleed the Horniman dry of staff and resources to the point it will be in danger of shutting down.

I am so sad to see this happen. Every one of these museums has its place, but it doesn't seem to be important to the UK government when it boils down to the numbers. I truly hope this isn't the start of a cultural drought that will leave the UK a desert in years to come.

If you can, get out there and support these museums any way possible!

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