Olympics hits art museum attendance
Visitor number down as much as 40 per cent in August as Olympic fever takes hold of London
Interesting figures emerged this morning claiming that museums in London suffered big falls in visitor numbers in the run-up to the Olympics - in some cases 40% down on last year. Central London was worst hit: the British Museum lost 169,970 visitors in July, while the number of visitors to paid-for exhibitions at Tate Modern and Tate Britain fell in the first week of August. Visitor numbers to the National Portrait Gallery fell by 58,461 in July compared with 2011, while the National Gallery had 40% fewer visitors in the first week of August. In south-east London, the National Maritime Museum, part of the Olympic equestrian arena, reacted by changing its opening hours to encourage spectators to visit the museum but still lost 11,167 visitors in July. It did, however, welcome an extra 63,356 visitors in June. There is of course, one museum that is always open - whenever you feel like visiting. it's called The Art Museum and it's worth a massive 1,250 points if you join Phaidon Club before you buy it.