This is merely a reflection of a general malaise in the global cultural sector.
The UK has been treating museums and galleries badly for years.
The Lottery boards have been prepared to fund capital projects, but not under-write revenue funding. Steering committees for projects were arguably, over-estimating visitor numbers, in order to secure funding for the building of new exhibition spaces. Architects were the main beneficiaries of this situation. Several projects never achieved the projected visitor numbers and have closed.
Add to this the Damoclean sword of funding related to greater accessibility. So institutions which, however hard they have worked, digitising collections, making them available on the web, have succeeded in making collections more open, but have seen physical visitor numbers fall.
Acquisition budgets have all but disappeared leaving even the major museums to become cultural mendicants, running round with begging bowls in order to try to save items which come up for sale, a near impossible fund-raising task, in a global recession. That recession, which has already seen the demise of some charities, also caught many councils with their trousers down, investing money in both banks and stock-markets, with abysmal financial over-sight and regulation, and councils have lost not only the interest on the capital sum, that they were using to shore-up central government under-funded local services, but the capital sums of money also.
Getting rid of entrance fees was a temporary success, but the general perception that museum/gallery visiting is a pastime for snobs has not been successfully debunked.
In all of this, governments need to remember the 6P rule.......
Will petitions work? I hope so.
But I would not be holding my breath.