Archaeology, Archaeology outreach

News – Museum Visitor Figures 2008

Museums and Attractions Attendance List 2008!

Wikimedia Image Copyright Andrew Dunn
Wikimedia Image Copyright Andrew Dunn

Wikimedia Image Copyright Andrew DunnThe Guardian’s recent article alerted me to the fact that the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions visitor numbers list was out for 2008.

No suprises over the top ten being London-based – more surprise for me personally that my favourite museum (National Army Museum) isn’t even a member of the association! (It’s important to remember this list only covers the Association’s members, other museums are missing). Generally the museums all seem to have been doing well, with lots of them showing healthy rises in visitor numbers. It’s a shame to see the V&A suffer a 15% drop, but that is perhaps down to their lack of particularly attention-grabbing temporary exhibitions (figures for which are included in the survey). Hopefully they’ll be up again.

The British Museum is  at the top, which is good news I suppose, but I still haven’t forgiven them for that travesty of an exhibition on Hadrian so I can’t  really congratulate them to much. To think 250,000 people saw that boring, over-priced statuary room!

It’s also surprising to see people still so willing to pay the crazy prices requested by some places – c.f. the Tower of London (No 6 with over 2.1 million visitors) in particular! I would dearly love to go, but frankly the price is just extortionate (£16.50), particularly to visit a site I know will be full of screaming children most of the time. It also reminds me that the British Library is considered an attraction, despite the fact that I only think of it with frustration and mild horror (as do many people who have had to try and use it academically). Still, all praise to them for their current Freedom of Speech exhibition considering the current political climate and our rapidly diminishing civil liberties.

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