Cobra Museum ‘shocked’ by subsidy stop, asks for extra time Yesterday, 20:30 in Economy , Culture & Media "We can still take the time to look for a solution together"says director of the ailing museum.

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Visitors in the Cobra Museum
NOS News

The decision of the municipality of Amstelveen to shake hands with the Cobra Museum has been taken hastily. That is what director Stefan van Raay of the heavily loss-making museum for modern art says in conversation with NOS. “We are very shocked. But we can still take the time to look for a solution together.”

The curtain is about to fall for the Cobra Museum after almost thirty years, because the municipality of Amstelveen no longer has much confidence in the institution’s finances. Based on the loss of 350,000 euros over 2022, the Board was already hesitating to provide more than 1.2 million euros in subsidies annually in the coming period. The risks were considered irresponsible when it appeared two weeks ago that the loss of 700,000 euros this year would be even greater than expected.

Van Raay attributes those red numbers to the sunny month of June. “Then visitors don’t come. That is a national trend. Visitor numbers fell by almost 60 percent everywhere. We felt this enormously.”


The museum wants to look for a solution to become financially healthy, but the management cannot yet name concrete options. Van Raay is not very specific about a merger with another museum in Amstelveen or Amsterdam. “We could look into this, but we’ve never been approached proactively.”

According to him, it has already been investigated whether the Cobra Museum could merge with the glass art museum Jan from Amstelveen. “But we didn’t see a reduction in costs or extra cultural value. Jan didn’t want it either.”

Shopping in the Stadshart

In addition, it bothers the museum that the economy of Amstelveen would earn indirectly from the visitors. “Even if you deduct the subsidy, we bring in 2.5 to 3 million euros per year. People go shopping and eat in the Stadshart. They park there or use another mode of transport. Amstelveen and the Cobra Museum cannot do without each other If the Cobra Museum disappears, the question is whether people will come to Amstelveen and spend money here.”

The city council will debate tonight about the subsidy to the Cobra Museum. A decision will be made on this in a week.

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