Galleries and museums across the UK are shutting down or reducing their opening hours because of ongoing budget cuts, according to a new survey.
Services to schools have also been dramatically reduced.
Mark Taylor, director of the Museums Association, said there was "no prospect of an upturn any time soon".
"Funding isn't getting any better and in many cases it's getting worse," he explained.
"Of most concern is that public access is down and this is of particular concern to smaller, community museums. They are affected most by the cuts and if they start to die, it's unlikely they'll ever come back.
"It is sad because these museums are the soul of the towns and villages they are in."
Recent closures include the the Malton Museum in Ryedale, which shut in February, and the Museum of Nottingham Life.
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