National Museum Wales Statement on reopening
Written by Gavin on 10th July 2020
“Wales’ seven national museums and the National Collection Centre are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our priority and therefore our sites will reopen only when it is safe for us to do so.
“Today (Friday, 10 July 2020), the First Minister announced that cinemas, museums and galleries could reopen from 27 July.
“St Fagans National Museum of History is planning to reopen the Museum’s outdoor grounds four days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) from 4 August. The visitor experience will be different as the historic houses, galleries and play areas will have to remain closed due to social distancing and current restrictions. All visitors will need to pre-book a free ticket for their visit via our website (www.museum.wales) or on the phone.
“Following today’s announcement by the Welsh Government, we are also planning limited reopening of Wales’ other national museums. This will be in two phases and is dependent on the continued easing of restrictions in the coming weeks:
· National Museum Cardiff, National Slate Museum and National Waterfront Museum to reopen during the w/c 24 August.
· National Wool Museum, Big Pit and National Roman Legion Museum to reopen from 1 September. “Further details will be shared on our website (www.museum.wales) and social media channels over the coming weeks.
“We are working hard to ensure all national museums will be safe spaces for staff, volunteers and visitors when the time comes, with guidance on social distancing adhered to and visitor capacity managed. This includes a new booking system as although our museums will remain free, visitors must book their visit in advance.
“Over the last few weeks, we have been reviewing how we can best support our communities through these challenging times, remotely and when we are able to re-open our museums. We have launched a new public appeal and a mass digital observation project to collect the experiences of living in Wales during this extraordinary time of COVID-19 www.museum.wales/collecting-covid.
“As a charity, Amgueddfa Cymru’s financial stability is also a priority. We are currently losing around £400k of income per month we are closed to the public and even when we re-open our museums, we will not be able to recover these losses fully on site due to the current guidelines of social distancing. We have therefore actively identified other options to protect the organisation, furloughing over 40% of our staff through the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and working with our funders to identify other sources of income. This work will continue and all support is gratefully appreciated to help us continue to work with the communities of Wales and fulfil our role as Wales’ national museum.”