Swiss Museums unite to urge the Swiss Federal Council to end Museum Lockdown

January 28, 2021

Cultural institutions in Basel and across Switzerland are making a plea to the Swiss Federal Council to end the museum lockdown for the mental well-being of all, so that they can continue to fulfil their educational mission.

Museums and exhibition venues are places of education, cultural diversity, and emotional empowerment. In a liberal, democratic society, they are important institutions for formulating opinions and forming identities; they promote liberal and pluralistic thinking; they offer respite, recreation, and inspiration; and they strive to be open to everyone. They have thus become essential vehicles for the idea of democracy. The density and diversity of museums in Switzerland testify to the importance of and commitment to culture. 

Museums and exhibitions engage with natural and cultural history, with art and its reflection on the present, which make them a critical counterpart and partner to reflect on new situations and crises. Experiencing an original object – be it a work of art, a historical manuscript, or a scientific specimen cannot be adequately replaced by an online presentation, blog, or virtual tour, no matter how well-produced. This is evidenced by the numerous feedbacks that have reached our museums in the past year. If physical access is limited or blocked, education and culture become fundamentally stunted.

Read the full statement here.

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