04:53PM, Thursday 30 July 2020
A petition to save the Royal Borough and Windsor Museum has been launched as it faces closure amid the pandemic.
The museum in Windsor Guildhall remains closed despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions allowing museums to reopen on July 4.
In a document called ‘interim strategy in response to COVID-19 pandemic’, which was due to be discussed by cabinet tonight, it said the council was considering closing the museum.
The document states: “Close museum as large number of staff and volunteers are shielding and any tourist market has disappeared. Potential to offer museum and custody of collection to another body. Close face-to-face tourist information and move entire set-up to digital offer focussed on attracting people to the area overall.”
The petition to save the museum has now received more than 500 signatures after it was created earlier this week.
Brigitte Mitchell, chair of the Friends of Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, told the Express: “There have been regular events for children, special exhibitions, talks and displays. We have an active pool of volunteers who help to run the museum. Then why do they want to close us down?”
When asked if the museum was at risk of closure, Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle), cabinet member for Windsor said: “What we have seen during COIVD-19 is the world has changed drastically and obviously the council is in a difficult financial position but no decision has been made. All we are doing is looking at what we can do with the museum.
“I think its important we all look together to decide what is best for the museum to look like for the borough, it might mean we remain as we are or it might mean we change.
“It’s great there is so much support for the museum.”
She also paid tribute to the staff and said they had done a ‘fantastic job’ during lockdown.
During lockdown the museum has been offering services online including 360 degree virtual tours of the museum and Guildhall, podcasts, and online tutorials.
A spokesman from the Royal Borough said: “We are currently exploring a number of options for Museum services, given the new environment we’re operating in, but no decision has been made at this time.”
Click here to view the petition.
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