City of Zug, 18.01.2021

Museum Burg Zug narrowly survives thanks to Corona fund

The year 2020 presented the Museum Burg Zug with unprecedented challenges. The shutdown and the new closure at the end of the year had a massive impact on the museum's operations – and continue to do so.

The Museum Burg Zug has experienced a turbulent year: With the first museum closure on 17 March 2020, the special exhibition "Ernstfall! Switzerland in the Cold War” had to be prematurely stopped. Within a short time, however, it was finally available as a virtual 3D tour, as well as in the form of a specially produced podcast on the museum website. Those people interested in the subject at least had the opportunity to visit the exhibition virtually.

The museum reopened its doors to guests on June 9, as the museum's communications department wrote in a press release. After an initial reluctance, visitor numbers recovered and had returned to virtually normal levels in September, before collapsing again in October. The top priority after the reopening in June was the protection of guests and employees, the press release continues.

Each guest received their own pen
The museum team continuously adapted the measures to the current requirements: For example, they had to introduce a face mask-wearing obligation and distance rules, the number of persons had to be regulated, hand sanitizers were installed, and there were access restrictions in individual rooms and a predetermined one-way tour through the permanent exhibition. In addition, touchscreen pens were introduced to make it possible to operate screens and media stations without touching them. Each guest was given their own pen, which was returned and disinfected at the end of the visit. The museum could thereby remain open until December with limited operation.

The Museum Burg Zug has suffered from the snow significantly less than from the Covid-19 restrictions of last year
Photo: PD/Regine Giesecke

The long-prepared new special exhibition "Snow was yesterday – in the Pre-alps", absolutely in keeping with the season, opened with some restrictions on 26 November. There was no official public opening, and the number of visitors was limited. Online offers are currently being developed so that this special exhibition can at least be visited virtually.

Visitor decline of nearly 65%
In total, the Museum Burg Zug recorded only 6,096 visitors in 2020, a corona-related decrease of almost 65% compared to the previous year. There were 130 events in the museum, and 30 school classes used the museum as an extracurricular learning place, be it for guided tours, workshops or independent visits to the permanent or special exhibitions. This represented a decrease of almost 53% in events, and more than 73% in school classes compared to the previous year.

Private group tours have also virtually disappeared since March. The museum management notes that all these losses were only able to be absorbed thanks to support from the Corona Fund of the City of Zug, and concludes: "It is unclear what challenges this still young year will bring." The museum team is making every effort to continue to offer visitors an attractive offer and an exciting museum experience in the circumstances, and in compliance with all applicable regulations.