The Malta Independent 8 April 2020, Wednesday

Museum closures mean that Heritage Malta is struggling to make ends meet – Herrera

Monday, 23 March 2020, 18:53 Last update: about 15 days ago

The closure of museums and other sites across the island as a precautionary measure against the spread of Coronavirus means that Heritage Malta is struggling to make ends meet, Culture Minister Jose Herrera told Parliament on Monday.

Herrera was replying to a series of questions on how the closure of sites and museums administered by Heritage Malta would affect the agency and its staff.

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Citing figures for last year, Herrera noted that Heritage Malta makes an annual profit of around €8 million from the sales of tickets - equal to some €600,000 per month. The agency also receives a government allocation of around €6 million.

He told parliament that with museums and sites now closed, the ticketing revenue that the agency would receive has now been cut off, meaning that the agency must find different ways to receive funds to pay its staff.

The agency is hoping to make up at least part of the shortfall through virtual tours, done online, of historical sites it administers.

Restorations handled by Heritage Malta meanwhile continue as usual as these are infrastructural works which fall under a different cap.

Herrera also announced that the National Archives had been closed until further notice, once again as a measure to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and limit social gatherings as per the guidelines of the Superintendence of Public Health.

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