State museums are experiencing the greatest crisis in their history, and visitors are suffering as a result. Only in the first quarter of 2022, an avalanche of complaints hit the box office about the closure of theaters and centers due to a lack of staff, this newspaper reports. The Transparency Portal shows a list of complaints received and answered by state museums during the specified period and reflects the anger of citizens at the lack of access to these 16 institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture. The most unemployed is the Sorolla Museum, the second most visited of all (with almost 200,000 visitors in 2021): of the 212 complaints received, only two are not related to the closure of the halls due to lack of staff. One demands an explanation in French, while another complains about the lack of access to a building declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC).
The website of the Sorolla Museum warns that the temporary exhibition “Happy Age” is closed from 9:30 to 14:45. A few days ago, they succinctly hinted at the “causes of internal organization.” Since the opening day, in February, attendance at the exhibition has been halved due to a lack of staffing. The center does not explain to the visitors of the network the real reason. They do not even argue the true reasons for the claims of the townspeople and limit themselves to a short answer: “We sincerely regret all the inconvenience caused by the closure of the temporary exhibition halls.”
According to one of the employees of the Sorolla Museum, this newspaper learned that seven people work in the morning shift, and eleven in the afternoon. That is why the halls of the temporary exhibition and other premises of the permanent one are closed. A source who prefers anonymity also told elDiario.es that both the administrator and the director opened and closed the museum due to a lack of staff at the box office.
Availability has been cut
At the National Archaeological Museum (MAN), they are still halfway there. It is the most visited state museum of all, with nearly 330,000 visitors in 2021. Around the Pillars of Hercules will be opened May 25 at MAN – about the “thousand-year relationship between Morocco and Spain” – and it is not yet known if temporary contracts will be awarded, which is inconsistent with labor reform. “If they want us to take care of the temporary exhibition, they will have to close the factory in Egypt in order to be able to visit the temporary exhibition,” warns a MAN employee. “Everything is upside down.” And the consequences are visible in the claims: out of 68 complaints received, 32 are related to closed premises or lack of staff at the box office. The museum’s response is that this is due to COVID and the pending announcement of competitions for places.
For more than a year, there has been a complete and partial closure of halls in some state museums. For museums to become accessible again, at least 80 more people are needed, but neither the Ministry of Culture nor the Ministry of State Services solve the situation. This became clear in March 2020, when the Fourth Agreement was signed, according to which the security guards of the premises were left without a category of posts. That is, in limbo. Cannot be hired for two years. In MAN, out of six areas, only four remain open. You cannot visit Numismatics, Medieval and Modern. At the moment, 32 people are working, and the Security and Emergency Response Plan of this center is provided for 45 guards.
Among the complaints received at MAN, one person stated that the other official languages of Spain were being used and was told that “due to the amount of information, this would mean overloading the texts at the exhibition”. Another lamented the lack of information about the labels of exhibits in the temporary exhibition and replied that “many exhibits and limited space.”
Visits in search of explanations
A new temporary exhibition has opened at the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, occupying one and a half floors. But there is not enough staff to service it. That is why the fourth floor remains closed. Museums must decide whether to cancel some of the permanent exhibitions to cover the temporary program, or vice versa. The Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts cannot pay for the catalog in the store with a bank card … “We set ourselves the goal of installing a dataphone to pay for publications for this year,” they respond to the claim made by the user.
For its part, the Museum of Romanticism responds to visitors who complain that they cannot see the collections, that only some state museums are closed, and that it is “something punctual”. That this is a consequence of the entry into force of the IV Unified Agreement on Labor Personnel and that “at the moment we are actively working on finding solutions and finalizing staffing tables in order to continue to guarantee the regular opening of museums.” Despite the answer, the truth is that this is a problem that has been going on for two years, the administration does not offer solutions and affects all public museums.
At the Serralbo Museum, most of the complaints are also related to the closed rooms and the lack of information that the center offers on this matter. But the management does not tell the visitor that they claim that the lack of staff is due to a lack of hiring. The Museum of Anthropology houses almost 70% of the complaints received.
The Costume Museum has a problem with insufficient information on labels and with the treatment of staff. Of the 17 complaints received, most concern the lack of information accompanying the items in the collections. The museum explains to visitors why the labeling system has been changed and warns that it is going to update it soon. Users also don’t understand why there is so little light in the rooms.
*The article has been translated based on the content of www.eldiario.es. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!