National Museum Directors' statement on Prime Minister's Announcement on 23 June 23 Jun 2020

The Directors of Tate, Science Museum Group, Natural History Museum, National Gallery, British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum responded to the Prime Minister's announcement on 23rd June:

"As Directors of some of the UK's leading national museums, we welcome the Prime Minister's announcement to allow the safe reopening of our galleries to the public this summer. We will now work closely with government, trade unions and supporters to see how and when we can open our doors again in a financially sustainable manner, for the long term.  

The British public have faced a wretched few months of isolation, loss, and anxiety in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.  The reopening of museums – whose galleries speak to the creative, resilient power of the human spirit - will provide solace and inspiration as Britain looks to the future.

Museums live through the conversation between object and visitor. Our collections are held in trust not to be hidden away, but to be discussed, challenged, and loved: a role of particular significance as we reflect on current debates around crucial issues including racial equality, social justice, and climate change."

Maria Balshaw, Tate

Ian Blatchford, Science Museum Group

Mike Dixon, Natural History Museum

Gabriele Finaldi, National Gallery

Hartwig Fischer, British Museum

Tristram Hunt, Victoria and Albert Museum