Published  16/03/2005

Museum Stress

Museum Stress

The February 2005 strike by staff at the Science Museum in London was more concerned with future plans for all museums, although it represented major concerns by staff. The 2.5% rise offered in February did not really placate everyone and longstanding grievances are still on the agenda. The Science Museum of course is not an art gallery, but it relies upon supplying all visitors with a high level of services. This creates funnelling overheads, in servicing over two million visitors per year. It is claimed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that the funding of £40 million towards last year's running costs should have been adequate. But curators claim that there is a consistent undervaluing and, hence, underfunding of science by the DCMS. Now, redundancies are kicking in and nine galleries have had to be closed. Charles Saumarez Smith, Director of the National Gallery, suggests that these are common problems across the museum and gallery world.

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