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Whatever it Takes: The Resilience of UK Museums during the first year of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

Although the UK museums sector has experienced any number of exogenous shocks, few have had the destructive potential of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following closely on the long-lasting impact of the 2008 worldwide financial crisis, it might have been expected to be catastrophic for many museums. This talk explores the means by which the financial risks it posed have been mitigated – at least for the time being – through support of government and other funders, entrepreneurial spirit and effective governance. Using data from a sample of over 1,200 museum organisations, the response to the pandemic will be evaluated and, as Coronavirus transforms from pandemic to endemic, the implications for the coming years considered.

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