The arts and cultural sector hit by Covid19

In recent months the arts and cultural sector has been hit and held back by Covid19 which has also caused a significant decrease in purchases. 

Thanks to the survey carried out by Deloitte Private, we have a general overview of the current situation. On November 5th, Deloitte Private presented the first edition of “Lo stato dell’Arte. Una fotografia del settore Art & Finance ai tempi del Covid-19” (The state of the art. A photograph of the Art & Finance sector at the time of Covid-19), through this survey carried out in September and October, more than 1,000 stakeholders were interviewed, including art lovers, collectors and artists, and the aim was to understand and learn about the transformations that took place in the artistic and cultural world. In recent months, the effectiveness of virtual purchasing, the ability of the different platforms to meet the demands of collectors and investors, and also forecasts regarding the future of this sector have come into play. 

71% of interviewees believes that Covid19 has had a significant impact on how people benefit from art. Whereas 10% says their cultural life has not been affected by the pandemic. In this period of crisis, half online and half streaming auctions were born, the so-called “hybrid auctions” due to the impossibility of real participation by the people involved. The methods adopted for replacing live art were considered suitable and useful online alternatives by 28%, but 31% judged them as inefficient. 

In the first six months of 2020, auctions had a 60% drop in turnover, whereas sales in art galleries reported a 36% decrease compared to the same period of the previous year. But the positive aspect is the 81% which reconfirms the interest for the artistic and cultural sector. 

Ernesto Lanzillo, Deloitte Private Leader, commented on the current situation: “The world of art, culture and collectibles has also suffered the negative effects of the crisis. In this context, we do not have enough quantitative data concerning the art market in order to look at the development and the future of the sector. The limited or absent possibility to enjoy live art is still the most critical element ” 

The Sotheby’s is one of the auction houses to have managed to overcome the crisis, thanks to the online methods and the digital presence created over the years, it has a turnover of 2.5 billion dollars in the first half of 2020. 

According to Barbara Tagliaferri, Art & Finance Coordinator for Deloitte Italy, this sector should focus on the future for a restart based on digital innovation, new job titles, new regulatory tools and on a closer collaboration between small and medium-sized businesses. 

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