Museums & historical sites see 12% drop in visitors for 2009
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In 2009, there were 66 active museums and historical sites in Malta and Gozo. Forty-seven per cent were owned by the State and the rest by the Church or a private organisation. Moreover, 35 per cent of the museums and historical sites were managed by the State, while more than half were either managed by the Church or another voluntary or non-profit organisation. Just over 30 per cent were Ethnology and Anthropology museums; 20 per cent were monuments and sites, and a further 15 per cent were Archaeology and History museums.
These museums and historical sites registered 2.2 million admissions during 2008, the majority of which were paid admissions (93 per cent). 2009 saw a drop of 12 per cent in total admissions when compared to the preceding year. In fact, the number of paid admissions in 2009 declined by 12 per cent to 1.8 million, while free admissions decreased by 5 per cent to 157,293. The highest share of admissions was registered in Art Museums during the two years under review. Monuments and Sites, and Archaeology and History museums were also very popular. During 2009, full-time paid staff employed by museums and historical sites decreased by 5 per cent to 318 with respect to 2008. Over three-fourths of the full-time employees in museums and historical sites were classified as ‘other’ staff. This category includes clerks, cleaners and maintenance and security personnel. The number of part-time staff also dropped during 2009, standing at 65. In contrast, voluntary staff increased by 8 per cent over 2008, to 159. The majority of voluntary workers were museum guides.
The income reported by these organisations amounted to €11.5 million in 2008, which increased by 8 per cent to €12.5 million last year. More than half the income earned during 2009 was attributed to admission fees. In 2009, museums and historical sites received over €4.5 million in grants and subsidies, making up almost 37 per cent of their income. This translated into a €1.0 million growth in this type of income when compared to 2008.
In 2008, these organisations spent €12.3 million. Staff costs contributed to just over half the total expenditure, while another 10 per cent were subcontracting costs. Nineteen per cent of these costs was spent on maintenance and administration. The total expenditure dropped by 11 per cent in 2009 to €11.0 million, albeit the increase in the total revenue. During 2008, these organisations registered a net loss of €0.8 million, which was followed by a financial surplus of nearly €1.5 million last year.