Hermitage appeals for donations as more museums suffer

Photo: Hermitage Amsterdam
A collection of jewels but diminishing cash? Photo: Hermitage Amsterdam

The Hermitage Amsterdam museum is appealing for donations to try to stay afloat after being closed for more than 100 days due to coronavirus rules.

It is, reports NOS, the first major museum in the Netherlands to launch such an appeal due to the impact of a year of restrictions on visitor numbers.

‘The coronacrisis has deeply affected the Hermitage Amsterdam,’ says the museum in an appeal on its website front page. ‘For 16 years and without subsidies, we have always been there for you, our visitors and friends. But now after a year of long lockdowns with no visitors, the time has come when we must ask for your help…with a gift, however large or small.’

Director Annabelle Birnie told NOS that the museum, which displays the collection of the State Hermitage in St Petersberg, has already had to sack aquarter of its staff. It hopes that its fundraising campaign will raise a million euros between now and the start of May. Since it has no subsidies, most of its income disappeared.

‘We are used to standing on our own two feet,’ she reportedly said. ‘But the longer this lasts, the more precarious it gets.’

The Museumvereniging association has said that many other museums are under threat, and that three closed their doors for good last year. Others including the world famous Van Gogh Museum are also appealing for public donations.

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