How were museums doing in Europe in 2023? EMA National Reports

The European Museum Academy presents the annual report about the museum situation in Europe by the end of 2023. This is the sixth year of this report series. The report includes an analytical summary and the national reports from our representatives in 35 countries.

The European Museum Academy presents the annual report about the museum situation in Europe by the end of 2023. This is the sixth year of this report series. The report includes an analytical summary and the national reports from our representatives in 35 countries.

It is remarkable that we can now see that the museum society in Europe is certainly post the pandemic years. The pandemic is almost not visible in the reports now and instead we can celebrate that visitor numbers across the continent is back on track and equal to the numbers in 2019. In many cases there are reports of record numbers – especially in larger museums in the capitals or other major cities. The main reason for that is the revived tourism but even locals and nationals spent more time in their museums now.

The financing of museums in Europe presents a mixed picture now. In almost all countries in Europe the museum sector has been hit hard by the inflation and the high energy costs. In some countries this has led to reducing opening hours. On the other hand, it is also clear that in many countries there are ongoing investments in museums. New exhibition halls and new storages are costly investments but the money for investments appears to be available.

As maybe Covid-19 is now something the museums as everybody else must live with as part of life it is equally interesting that digitalization of collections and providing digital access has now become part of the daily work in museums.

From several countries it is reported that new legislation is being passed or is underway which generally simplify the regulations the museums must follow, and at the same time stimulates more collaborations between the public authorities and the private sector in financing museums. This opening up strategy about control from the governments and parliaments is at the same time in some countries met by initiatives to shape and introduce quality certification for museums. Such initiatives may come from the public authority side and as well the museums themselves. It may be feared that this two-headed movement not only mirrors the lowering of realistic possibility for total or dominating public financing. This may also be an alarm clock from museums about fear of loosing the fundamental interest and engagement in museums from public authorities. It is clear that museum management and development today demand broader competences in working with diverse funding sources and at the same time keeping the trust of visitors and the general public.

Kind regards
Dr Henrik Zipsane

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