The British Museum enjoys its most successful year ever
Tuesday 14 January 2014
The British Museum has recorded the most successful year in its history, with 6.7 million visitors through the door in 2013, helped by blockbuster exhibitions such as Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The museum beat its previous record of six million set five years earlier, and was up a fifth on visitor numbers in 2012.
The news came on the eve of the 255th anniversary of the opening of the institution to the public on Wednesday.
Neil MacGregor, thedirector of the Museum, said he was “delighted” that so many people had visited the collections.
He added that with loans, touring exhibitions and cinema presentations were bringing the objects to an ever widening audience around the world.
The exhibition covering Pompeii and Herculaneum received 471,000 visitors, almost doubling its target.
The show was the third most popular in the Museum’s history after Tutankhamun in 1972, which hit 1.6 million visitors and the First Emperor at 850,000.
Other exhibitions this year included Ice Age Art which more than doubled its target after attracting 90,000 visitors and Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art, which attracted 87,893 visitors in three months.
Pompeii marked the last exhibition in the Reading Room as the Museum will open the new exhibitions gallery with its first major show of this year: Vikings: life and legend.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food