Pedestrians walk past the closed Metropolitan Museum of Art as streets remain relatively quiet due to the continuing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York U.S., May 5, 2020. Picture taken May 5, 2020 at 8: 46AM. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files
(Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is cutting a further 353 staff as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on museums around the world due to restrictions on movement and concerns about public gatherings.
The reduction will come through a combination of the elimination of positions, voluntary retirements and furloughs, a spokeswoman for the museum said in an emailed statement.
The museum is projecting a $150 million loss in revenue due to the pandemic, the spokeswoman said. Its annual budget is $320 million.
The Met laid off over 80 people in April after closing in March as the pandemic spread across New York. The latest cuts will take its employee count to about 1,600, down from about 2,000 in March.
The New York Times nyti.ms/30tFfDs cited a memo sent to the museum’s staff on Wednesday, specifying 79 staff members had been laid off, 181 were furloughed and 93 took voluntary retirement.
“We recognize that the Museum that we will return to – whenever that may be – will be very different from what we left behind only six months ago”, Chief Executive Dan Weiss said in a statement.
“We have worked to ensure that these painful staff reductions are distributed across the entire Museum so that no one area or group is taking on an outsized burden”, Weiss said.
The United States has recorded about 4.8 million coronavirus cases and over 157,000 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a Reuters tally tmsnrt.rs/2VGfMnU, with more than 32,000 deaths in the state of New York.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin