For a long time the British Museum, in its assertions that more people see the Elgin Marbles there than would see them in Athens, have relied on out of date figures for the number of visitors to the museum.
A new government website makes available regularly updated figures, although with a free admission museum such as the British Museum, I don’t know how accurate this data is & moreover many of the people may be repeat visitors (if it is free for re-admission, then why not go out for lunch somewhere else – but does this mean that you are counted twice?).
Another flaw in the figures, is that they are giving data for the entire museum, whereas clearly in a vast non-linear museum such as the British Museum it is unlikely that any visitors visit every single gallery (as was determined by the previous polls of visitors linked to from this site.)
The actual figures are available here
Department of Culture, Media & Sport (press release)
5 October 2004
Culture Department To Publish Regular Monthly Figures For Visits To Its Museums And Galleries
From this month, the DCMS is to publish regular statistics for visits to the museums and galleries it sponsors. These will appear on our website at the beginning of every month.
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