COVID-19 hits culture sector even harder than expected, warns UNESCO

UNESCO has assessed the measures taken by governments to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on culture professionals and on the sector as a whole, an impact which appears to be more severe than previously assumed, according to data collected by the Organization and contained in a new policy guide.

In the film industry, it is estimated that ten million jobs will be lost in 2020, while one third of art galleries are estimated to have reduced their staff by half during the crisis. A six-month closure could cost the music industry more than $10 billion in lost sponsorships, while the global publishing market is expected to shrink by 7.5% due to the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Responding to the crisis, which has led to the closure of a great many cinemas, theatres and bookshops and deprived artists of professional opportunities, UNESCO has developed tools for decision-makers published as a police guide entitled Culture in Crisis: A Policy Guide for a Resilient Creative Sector. The document is both a practical guide to help governments address the challenges artists and cultural professionals are facing during the pandemic, as well as offering advice on how to strengthen the resilience of the creative industries in the future.

“The sector, which accounts for 30 million jobs, is struggling to survive and needs our help. Culture has helped us out of the crisis. Now we have to help culture and support the diversity to which culture owes its strength.” Director-General of UNESCO.

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