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Visits to world’s top 100 museums and galleries plummet

Visitor numbers fell 77% in 2020 according to a report in The Guardian

Visitor numbers at the world’s top 100 museums and art galleries plunged by 77% last year, according to a story in today’s The Guardian newspaper, reporting on an annual survey by the Art Newspaper. Visitors fell from 230million in 2019 to 54million in 2020, leading to huge falls in revenue, as the pandemic forced widespread closures.

The Guardian reports the Art Newspaper as saying that a combined total of 41,000 days of enforced closure for the world’s top museums (including the Van Gogh Museum – number 37 in the top 100 – pictured left) was the equivalent of “112 years of missed visits and hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenue”. It could take museums and galleries years to recover, says The Guardian.

Although the Louvre in Paris maintained its position as the world’s most visited museum (mainly as a result of its Leonardo exhibition, which drew more than 10,000 visitors a day before closing in February 2020), visits were down 72% with an estimated income loss of €90m.