For the second year in a row the ARoS Museum is making negative figures as shown in the recently published annual report of the museum from 2019. The final deficit of the museum ended up being a little more than half million kroner (DKK 513,309).
By Hana Grohová and Janet Iroezi
These numbers do not come from a lack of visitors. In contrast, eight percent more people have visited the exhibitions in 2019 compared to the previous year. In fact, the main reason for the deficit is a shortage of sponsorships. The board of the museum originally stated the goal of 15 million kroner. The actual received money ended up being less than 80 percent (11.6 million kr.) of their goal. In addition, the salary costs were higher than the board had planned.
The director of the ARoS museum Erlend Høyersten believes that financing is a more complex issue. “10 % of our total budget is sponsors. The sponsor situation varies from year to year depending on what kind of projects we have.” The museum also focuses on raising money for expansion and renovation.
The main reason for the deficit, according to Mr. Høyersten, is the reconstruction in 2019: “Last year we did a totally new design of the fourth floor, which was a huge investment. Another thing was that we decided to prolong the opening hours. We wanted to make the museum accessible until nine o’clock in the evening.”
Mr. Høyersten does not believe that the deficit affects the operation of ARoS. “We have a rather big economy. 500 000 is not much for us. But we are working on gaining new sponsors, we are for example expanding the museum.”
However, ARoS has to attract both the sponsors and visitors. “I think the content is always important. We have the rainbow and we also have to meet the expectations of the audience. And they expect us to do great and high quality shows. But great service is the starting point,” Mr. Høyersten said.
Alternative ways of financing art
Mr. Høyersten does not see the future in making ARoS free and accessible for everyone. “I do not think everyone is interested in art. Besides, if we made our museum free, we would have to raise so much money that it is unrealistic.”
Apart from that, he believes that in future the museum landscape will either become more conservative and introvert or we can experience a new renaissance. “It can try to be a part of the society both on the local and international level. It very much depends on the new generation. I have no idea how the ARoS will look like in 20 years,” Mr. Høyersten said.
He sees a future in new technologies. “We are working on projects involving virtual and augmented reality and also artificial intelligence.”