In Sweden, museums are struggling to make ends meet.

Le Nationalmuseum de Stockholm, vide au début de la pandémie, le 18 mars 2020.


Que ceux qui prévoyaient un séjour à Stockholm se rassurent : le spectaculaire Musée Vasa, consacré au navire de guerre éponyme qui coula à pic dans le port de la capitale quelques instants après sa mise à l’eau, au début du XVIIeThe century-old amusement park, Gröna Lund, remains open. The same goes for the Abba Museum, located just across the street, which provides a glittering dive into the history of Sweden’s most famous quartet, who were responsible for the country’s first victory in Eurovision.

For the National Museum of Natural History, however, we will have to try again: on August 16th, a piece of the ceiling weighing between 200 and 300 kilograms suddenly crashed to the ground. No one was injured, but an inspection of the premises revealed that safety could no longer be guaranteed. Therefore, its doors will remain closed until the necessary work, which has been repeatedly postponed for financial reasons, can be carried out.

As for the Nationalmuseum and its vast collection of French paintings, it is now only open five days a week since the beginning of the year. Monday was already a day off. Tuesday was added to save money. According to Susanna Pettersson, its former director, the museum’s coffers are empty. Worse yet, the renovations carried out between 2013 and 2018, costing 1.3 billion crowns (almost 110 million euros), have condemned it to years of scarcity.

er ministre a signé un décret juin, MmePettersson posted a lengthy letter on the museum’s website. In the letter, she explained that public subsidies only cover “barely the fixed costs” and that “all activities, including exhibitions, educational programs, and conferences” must be funded by external funds. In order to keep the museum afloat, she has “eliminated office spaces, laid off staff, reduced the number of exhibitions, and closed for an additional day each week.” However, these efforts have been in vain. “This situation is no longer sustainable. What is needed is to increase the level of funding by 40 million per year to eliminate the structural deficit and ensure that the museum can continue to operate,” she stated.

« Une honte »

Cette « crise des musées » – comme on l’appelle désormais en Suède – ne se limite pas aux grands musées stockholmois. Partout dans le pays, selon Gunnar Ardelius, secrétaire général de l’Association des musées suédois, des établissements sont en difficulté. Un comble quand on sait que les musées arrivent en tête des institutions publiques dans le baromètre de confiance établi chaque année par l’université de Göteborg.

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