Prague – The National Gallery Prague (NGP), which manages and operates six historic buildings in the capital, is spending approximately 40 million crowns more on energy this year than last year. It is roughly double the amount the gallery has spent in recent years. for building operations, personnel costs and security expenses represent 70 percent of the amount that one of the largest collection institutions in the country receives from the state. For exhibition activities, I have to support myself with income from entrance fees, educational activities, rentals and grants and subsidies. In an interview with ČTK, the general director of the gallery Alicja Knastová said.
“We have to reduce consumption with internal measures. The NGP buildings are heritage buildings and some of them, especially the Trade Fair Palace, are in poor technical condition. The implementation of sophisticated technical measures is therefore very limited,” said the director about possible energy savings. Therefore, according to her, the gallery is introducing less demanding but also less effective measures, such as replacing light bulbs with LED lights, minimizing the lighting time of buildings and strictly limiting the heating of office spaces to the limit set by law.
“We need sponsorship support more and more. For several years, we also receive the same funds for personnel costs. Regardless of inflation or the situation on the labor market, especially in Prague. So yes, the NGP is underfunded, both from the point of view of caring for historic properties and from in terms of resources for exhibition activity,” she said.
In recent years, NGP has received approximately 300 million crowns from the state, of which 137 million crowns are personal expenses, and 163 million crowns remain for operations. Last year, the gallery received an extraordinary contribution from the ministry for the loss of sales due to the pandemic in the amount of 44 million crowns and six million crowns for the exhibition, so last year it received a total of 350 million crowns from the founder.
“We are very successful in maintaining relationships with long-term partners. However, it is known that in this uncertain situation, companies are carefully considering who they provide their finances to and what they will receive in return, and establishing new partnerships is of ongoing quality.” said the director. She reminded that the current tendency in Europe is to cooperate more in the field of CSR (corporate social responsibility) than the usual forms of sponsorship. “We see it as an essential part of developing our audience. Nevertheless, we are in the process of negotiating with potential patrons of the arts. After all, it is the cornerstone of our institution,” reminded the creation of the National Gallery, when its direct predecessor, the Society of Patriotic Friends of Art, was supported by patrons from the ranks of the nobility and townspeople.