Tate Modern overtakes British Museum in UK visitor rankings

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Tate Modern has overtaken the British Museum to become the most popular UK museum or gallery, according to new figures.

A report in The Art Newspaper puts Tate Modern, which opened in 2000, at the top of UK rankings for visitor numbers in 2018.

The British Museum had held the position for nine years.

The British Museum
The British Museum (Tim Ireland/PA)

Tate Modern, which enjoyed success in 2018 with its Picasso exhibition, now occupies the fifth spot internationally, with 5.9 million visitors in 2018.

The British Museum said in a statement: “We congratulate Tate Modern on being the UK’s leading visitor attraction.

“The British Museum continues to welcome nearly six million visitors a year to the collection, numbers for the period January – March 2019 were 20% up on the same period the previous year which bodes well for 2019.

“We are especially proud of the nine million UK visitors we reach through our national programme activity across the country.”

The Paris institution had credited its boost of popularity in 2018 to a music video by Beyonce and Jay-Z filmed in the former palace.

The Art Newspaper says visitors to the Louvre, which also staged a record-breaking Delacroix exhibition, increased by 26% to 10.2 million in 2018.

The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Victoria & Albert Museum (Tim Ireland/PA)

The figures are published in the April issue of the newspaper, out on March 27.

1. Musee du Louvre, Paris
2. National Museum of China, Beijing
3. Metropolitan Museum, New York
4. Vatican Museums, Vatican City
5. Tate Modern, London
6. British Museum, London
7. National Gallery, London
8. National Gallery of Art, Washington
9. State Hermitage, St Petersburg
10. Victoria & Albert Museum, London

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