Welsh Government insist National Museum Cardiff is not closing

Museum Wales controls seven sites across Wales, including St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff and Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

A Welsh Government cabinet secretary has insisted National Museum Cardiff will not close after concerns were raised about its funding and the buidling falling into disrepair.

Museum Wales chief executive Jane Richardson spoke with BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, saying the organisation is facing a £4.5million reduction in its budget, which is set by the Welsh Government.

The organisation controls seven sites across Wales, including St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff and Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon.

Lesley Griffiths, who now sits as the cabinet secretary for culture and social justice in the cabinet, was asked about the concerns in the Senedd on Wednesday, 17 April.

Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central, said: "What assessment has the cabinet secretary made of National Museum Wales possibly closing National Museum Cardiff due to deteriorating conditions?"

Ms Griffiths said: "My officials continue to work with [Museum Wales] to develop a plan to address the urgent maintenance issues at our building in Cardiff.

"I met with the chief executive yesterday [Tuesday] who assured me there are no plans to close the museum.

"However I fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation and the significant investment needed."

Following up on the initial question, Labour MS Alun Davies said: "The people of Wales should never be put in a position where they're told they have to choose between seeing a GP or a Van Gogh.

"Having access to our national collection is important to who we are and not just us as a nation but also us as a family and as a community."

The question from Ms Fychan came after First Minister Vaughan Gething's comment at a press conference on Tuesday (April 16), in which he defended the cuts made to the culture sector.

He said: "I would much rather we have the money we require to deliver excellent public services and to support the growth in the economy. That's what I want to be able to do now and in the future.

"For me to have priorities now, we're going to have to make choices on what we're going to do.

"We're well past the point where being more innovative gets you over the line. We're at a point where real choices have to be made about what we're not going to do.

"I'd like to see a future where the National Museum can do the work required on the building and continues to provide an excellent service.

"That requires different choices about how we grow the economy across Wales and how that wealth is shared fairly across the country.

"I'm hopeful we will have a reset to those relationships and in addition to the priorities for Wales in the coming months."

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