Art Market

The Museo del Prado projected it would lose 70 percent of its revenue due to COVID-19.

Daria Simone Harper
Apr 29, 2020 5:04PM, via artnet News

Madrid’s Museo del Prado. Image by Fred Romero via Wikimedia Commons.

The board of directors of Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado projected a 70 percent loss in income from its ticket sales, boutique, cafeteria, catalog sales, audio guides, and space rentals. The museum is the latest institution to detail the financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

With over 213,000 cases confirmed, Spain is one of the European countries most heavily impated by the pandemic. Renowned for its large collection of Old Master paintings, Museo del Prado has postponed all of its 2020 shows indefinitely, including “Uninvited Guests. Episodes on Women, Ideology and the Visual Arts in Spain (1833–1931),” which had been slated to open at the end of March. According to a report from artnet News, the museum is working on a plan to reopen its doors, but is waiting for additional information from the government.

A report from Spanish newspaper El País said the museum has been in communication with Spain’s royal family (the king and queen are honorary trustees of the institution). The president of the museum’s board of trustees, Javier Solana, and the museum’s director, Miguel Falomir, held a video conference call yesterday with King Felipe and Queen Letizia, to discuss the museum’s critical financial state.

This current moment of crisis follows a successful year for the museum. The Prado saw 3.2 million visitors last year, breaking its attendance record, and reported €22.6 million ($24.5 million) in revenue from ticket sales. According to a report in El País earlier this month, the museum calculates a loss of €1 million ($1.1 million) every two weeks since it shuttered its doors on March 12th. Meanwhile the museum has seen a rise in their web traffic and social media engagement since increasing its digital presence in the wake of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art predicted similar losses, estimating a shortfall of about $150 million. These reports come as institutions around the world have had to indefinitely shutter their doors until the threat of COVID-19 wanes.

Further Reading: Ongoing Coverage of COVID-19’s Impact on the Art World

Further Reading: How Three Very Different Museums Are Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis

Daria Simone Harper