According to early results, London’s cultural institutions are performing worse than other international museums in the worldwide yearly survey conducted by The Art Newspaper. The full survey will be released on March 27.
Despite being the most-visited art museum in the UK and the third most visited globally, London’s British Museum experienced a 33% decline in visitor numbers compared to 2019. In 2022, the museum welcomed 4.1 million visitors, which is a significant increase from the 1.3 million visitors in 2021, but still falls short of the 6.2 million visitors in 2019. These early results indicate a decline in London’s cultural institutions, which performed worse than other international museums in the worldwide yearly survey by The Art Newspaper. The full report will be released on March 27.
Tate Modern ranked fourth in the global list of most-visited art museums. It had 4.1 million visitors last year, which is three times more than the previous year, but is 36% lower than the 2019 figure of 6.2 million visitors.
The Victoria & Albert Museum:
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) also experienced a similar trend, with a visitor count of 2.4 million last year, which is a 40 percent decrease compared to pre-pandemic levels. Tate Britain saw an even greater decrease, with only 913,000 visitors, which is a 49 percent drop.
The National Gallery:
The National Gallery’s performance is the most worrying among all major museums in London. In 2022, it recorded 2.7 million visits, which is a 55% decline from 6 million visitors in 2019. This drop of 3.3 million visitors is the biggest decrease recorded in any museum worldwide surveyed by The Art Newspaper.
According to a National Gallery representative’s statement to the newspaper, the decline in international tourism is a significant factor that led to a reduction in their number of visitors. The spokesperson further explained that domestic visitor numbers are nearing a full recovery.
London’s rate of recovery has been sluggish in comparison to other institutions worldwide. For instance, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, which is the most visited art museum globally, experienced only a 20% decrease in visits, with 7.7 million visits recorded in 2022 compared to 2019. Similarly, the Musee d’Orsay had 3.3 million visits, representing a 10% decrease from 2019, while the Centre Pompidou fared the best, with only an 8% drop in visits from 2019 figures.