KODE, which runs four Bergen art galleries and three composers' home, says it stands lose 30m kroner in ticket sales as the number of tourists coming to Bergen drops to practically zero.
“The situation for KODE is quite serious, because due to the corona crisis, we have no tourists going to Bergen at this time,” Marte Mjøs Persen, chair of the foundation's board told The Local.
She said the institution had been a victim of its own success, as its ability to generate income through ticket sales meant it had come to rely on relatively little public support.
“We have been very good at promoting KODE as an art museum and a lot of people are coming from all over the world and visiting Edvard Grieg's house,” she said. “We are quite dependent on ticket sales, so we have now asked the Minister of Culture for economic support, and for the government to step in and step up.”
“The coffers are empty. It's as serious as that,” the museum's director Petter Snare told Norway's state broadcaster NRK. “We simply don't have the money to pay our bills.”
The museum receives 27m kroner from the state budget, compared to 790m kroner for the National Museum in Oslo, it said in a press release.
But because more than 60 percent of its income comes from public funding, it is not eligible for the government's financial support packages.
According to Snare, the 33 percent the museum of income it derives from ticket sales is crucial to paying staff salaries.
KODE comprises KODE 1, housed in the building of the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art, KODE 2, housed in the building designed by the architect Sverre Lied for the Stenersen collection, KODE 3, in the building which hosts the Rasmus Meyers Collection, and KODE 4, called KUNSTLAB, which is aimed at children.
As well as Edvard Grieg's house Troldhaugen, the foundation also manages the former homes of the composers Ole Bull and Harald Sæverud.
The four museums and three composer homes normally receive 300,000 visitors a year.