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“Collapse of Museum Economy Came”: Forbes Life Asked Museum Owners What Will Exhibition Bans in Moscow Result In

“To establish that from November 13, 2020 to January 15, 2021, visits by citizens to cultural, exhibition, educational events (including museums, exhibition halls, libraries, lectures and trainings) are suspended, with the exception of official events organized by the executive authoroties.” says the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow as of 10.11.2020 No. 107-UM “On Amending the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow No. 68-UM dated June 8, 2020.”

Following the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin, the orders of the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Culture of the city of Moscow were issued. But they only regulate institutions under their jurisdiction. There is not a word about the suspension to visit private museums in both decrees. Nevertheless, private museums, considering themselves part of a single museum community, despite the fact that they are still not back on track after what happened to them in spring, also find the orders applicable to them.

It is obvious what the suspension of visits to private museums that operate without financial support from the state, only relying on their own funds, will lead to. Private museums earn up to 70% of their budget from entrance tickets, products from gift shops, group tours and educational programs. This means that in 2021 we may find ourselves in a situation where we will have to revive the private museum business as such. Only the giants will remain afloat, being funded from the businesses of their owners.

Meanwhile, museums and galleries today are one of the safest places: the task of observing social distance and all the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor is solved in exhibition spaces. Museum workers believe that the measures taken are excessive and ill-conceived; after all, theaters, cinemas, restaurants and even swimming pools and fitness centers continue to work. They talked about it to Forbes Life, answering the question of what the order of the mayor of Moscow means for them.