No one could fail to be heartened by the thirst for knowledge that the latest attendance figures for the British Museum so clearly demonstrate. History is indeed making history. Visits to the museum in May were the highest on record – 42 per cent up on the previous year. The museum’s magnificent Pompeii exhibition, which runs to the end of September, is on course to become its third most popular charging exhibition ever – after Treasures of Tutankhamun in 1972 and 2007’s The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army.
So congratulations to the British Museum, but in the light this success, we make a plea – to extend the opening hours. They are currently 10am until 5.30pm, with the sole exception of Fridays, when visits are possible up till 8.30pm. Shouldn’t it be 8.30 every evening? The public demand is there. Surely so triumphant an institution can organise itself to meet it?