|City of Lisbon, Portugal|
In April 2013, I participated in a conference in Lisbon on the funding crisis facing museums in Europe, which was sponsored by ICOM. I was also invited to speak on “the Canadian experience”.
I was eager to attend this conference and to learn more about how museums in Europe are dealing with the massive cuts. While there, I heard many horror stories but felt the hope of my museological colleagues. There have been many closures of museums, aggressive programs for merging museums, rushed privatization of some sites, and many layoffs. These extensive changes have even paralyzed many museums. The seriousness of the situation was very evident in Lisbon where youth unemployment is over 50% and the economy is stagnant.