How Museums in Europe Are Combating the Energy Crisis

by Shelli Stein

As people get back to traveling, Europe has become a popular, if not the most popular, destination. There are so many wonderful reasons to visit Europe, one of them being the arts and culture no matter which country you choose as your destination. There are also other events happening in the world right now that effect the availability and options of venues. If you enjoy museums and have plans to visit them while in Europe, it’s good to check and know if they are imposing any restrictions. Why? Because European museums are combating an energy crisis!

I recently read an article that spoke to the creative and necessary steps that museums are taking given the current energy shortages and higher prices.

How Museums Are Managing During The Energy Crisis

There has been a call to saving energy resources across Europe. The greatest concern is the exorbitant rise in energy costs. Also, inflation is causing materials, transport, and labor costs to skyrocket. France, Britain, and Germany, for example, are all onboard to save resources. That means museums are pitching in and making changes to their hours and scheduling.

In light of such figures, Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth warns of a “cultural recession,” a decline in cultural activities. “Museums, theaters, cinemas and concert halls are energizing places of education, encounter, social warmth and community,” the Green Party politician said. For this reason, she feels such institutions must be kept open over the winter and supported as “anchors of democracy.”

Ina Brandes, chairwoman of the Conference of Culture Ministers, expressed a similar view. However, the arts and culture industry must also make a “noticeable contribution to saving energy,” she added.

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Keeping Artwork Safe

In the case of museums, it’s fascinating to think about what it takes to keep the artwork safe from damage. For instance, museum exhibits are in danger if there are energy shortages. There are not enough air-conditioned storage spaces to protect all the works. It turns out that artwork requires unique temperature conditions and humidity needs to be regulated. Many of the older museum buildings need to be renovated for energy efficiency.

I find this all very interesting because so many of us have enjoyed great museums around the world, and yet we don’t think of what it takes to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the artwork safe.

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a group of people walking in front of British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most iconic museums in the world. Cedric Weber /

Final Thoughts

Even if you’re not interested in the backstory about European museums and the energy crisis and its impact on how museums function, it is good advice to check into whether the museums (and all art and culture venues) are open, which days of the week they are now closed, and if they have restricted hours or maybe even dismantled an exhibit you were hoping to catch. If you were recently in Europe let us know if you experienced disruptions to arts and culture schedules.

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How Museums in Europe Are Combating the Energy Crisis – Travel Blogs October 29, 2022 - 1:45 pm

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