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Activity of libraries and museums, severely affected last year during the pandemic

The activity of cultural-artistic units was strongly influenced by the health crisis last year, when museums had twice as few visitors and libraries released less than half of the usual number of volumes, informs a press release of the National Institute of Statistics sent on Wednesday.

In 2020, the activity of the cultural-artistic units was strongly influenced by the emergence and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and by the measures taken by the central and local authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.

The closure or restriction of the activities of the cultural units and the cancellation or the prohibition of organizing artistic events had a special impact on the cultural habits of the population and on the artistic and cultural community.

The intervals during which the cultural units carried out their activity under restricted conditions, by applying the social distancing measures imposed by the authorities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, led to the drastic limitation of their total capacity, a situation reflected in the present statistical indicators.

The network of libraries that operated in 2020 consisted of a number of 8,829 libraries (administrative units), by 393 fewer units compared to 2019. Libraries made available to the public in 2020, about 158 million volumes, by 2.5 million fewer than in 2019.

The number of active users was 2.5 million people in 2020, by 598,000 fewer than in 2019. The distribution of the number of active users shows a prevalence of the use of school libraries (57.4%) and public ones (30.4% ).

The network of museums and public collections included, in 2020, a number of 438 basic units, by 23 fewer units than in 2019.

The number of cultural and natural assets at the end of 2020 was 33.5 million, down by 269,000 in terms of cultural assets compared to 2019, mainly due to the temporary closure or suspension until the end of the year of the activity of several museums.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to museums and public collections, botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums and nature reserves, registered in 2020, was 7.9 million people, representing less than half of the number of visitors in 2019.

At the same time, the 287 publishing houses that edited newspapers published, in 2020, a number of 248 titles of printed daily and non-daily newspapers, by 15 fewer titles than in 2019 and published online a number of 277 titles of daily newspapers and non-daily, compared to 262 in 2019.

The national production of films for the big screen, in 2020, included 41 films (30 artistic films, 8 documentary and scientific films and 3 animated films), by 13 fewer films than in 2019.