Saturday 28 May 2022

Museums find alternative sources of funding: rich donors

Cuts in spending on the arts and culture are forcing the country’s museums to look elsewhere for funding and several have already proved to be successful, Nos television reports on Friday.

For example, Amsterdam’s maritime museum has set up a special group called De Companie, which only welcomes members prepared to donate at least €15,000. So far it has raised over €4m in donations which it has used to develop a special new exhibit.
The maritime museum is due to reopen in October after being closed for renovations which have lasted several years.
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has also set up an exclusive club with 25 members and a minimum donation of €5,000. But members will have to put more into the museum coffers for special exhibitions, Nos says.
One of the Rijksmuseum’s most generous donors is Manfred Heiting from Los Angeles who donates over €50,000 a year to the capital’s museum.
‘In America, there is no [government] support at all for culture,’ he told Nos. ‘Museums are almost entirely privately financed. I think that is wrong, but Europe is heading in that direction’.
In his shake-up of the Dutch arts and culture sector, minister Halbe Zijlstra pledged to largely spare national institutions. But he has also said they will have to find at least 17% of their funding from private sources.

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