• 9 Apr 2018

The annual report by British journal The Art Newspaper ranks Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Museum second to the most attended museums in the world. Now more visited than the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Beijing had over 8 million visitors in 2017. The Louvre Museum in Paris, ranked 1st in the world, only host 8.1 million visitors.

Beijing National Museum

Beijing National Museum © Pexels

The skyrocketing Asian attendance

In 2016, the Beijing National Museum‘s attendance reached 7.5 million visitors which is 3.6% higher than the year 2015. That is what is confirmed by The Art Newspaper 2016 annual report. The reasons of such dynamism can be found nationally. Indeed, the Chinese government made massive investments in museums development. As a result, hundreds of new institutions open its doors each year. In our article about the 2018 Art Basel Hong Kong edition we mentioned the upcoming opening of the cultural center of Tai Kwun in Hong Kong and the M+Museum in West Kowloon in 2019. On top of the multiplication of museums there is a subsidies policy from the government which enables several museums to enact free admittance policies. Moreover, the Beijing National Museum benefits from both the country’s demographic dynamism and its privileged location in one of the first world tourists destinations.

National Museum in Beijing

National Museum in Beijing © Yinan Chen

The slow come back of the Louvre in Paris

Even though The Art Newspaper reports ranks the Louvre as the most visited museum in the world, it was not the case the past three years. In fact, if we take a look at the 2016 figures, the number of visitors was 7.4 million which ranked the museum third to most attended museums worldwide behind Beijing National Museum and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. By then, the museum suffered from a dizzying drop of 15% compared to 2015. It is essentially because of the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris by the end of the same year. Indeed, tourism was deeply affected even though it is the main source of incomes and visitors for the Parisian museum. However, if we compare the attendance of 2017 with the 2015 one, the Louvre Museum has not caught up to its former rates. Indeed, the number of visitors in 2015 was 8.7 million visitors which is 600 000 more than 2017.

The 2017 most popular exhibitions

The British report does not only give the attendance rates of museums worldwide. It also aims at providing an assessment about the most popular exhibitions of the year. As a result, the exhibition of textile merchant Sergei Shukin collecton at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris reached 1.2 million visitors which have only been reached by the Gertrude Stein exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Nonetheless, the British study is based on daily visitors which is the reason why despite the record of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Tokyo is t the top. The first retrospective of Japanese Artist Unkei from the 13th century attracted 11 300 visitors a day at the Tokyo National Museum. On its hand, the Louis Vuitton Foundation for its Modern Art exhibition only attracted 8 926 visitors a day. Unsurprisingly, only the main institutions have the best attendance rates. The report does not reveal the existence of an outsider of the international artistic scene.

Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris

Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris © Flickr


Read our article about the exhibition Artists and Robots at the Grand Palais in Paris here.

Sources: Artnet, Blooploop and Hyperallergic