The British Museum has had its most successful spring on record, due in large part to the blockbuster Pompeii and Herculaneum show, which is on course to be its third most popular exhibition since it opened its doors in 1753.
The show has already attracted more than 287,000 visitors, double its projected number, and by the time it closes on 29 September it is expected to be one of the British Museum’s most popular exhibitions, after Tutankhamun in 1972 and the Chinese terracotta warriors in 2007.
Another 35,000 people will have seen the show, described by the Guardian as “undoubtedly one of the most momentous archaeological exhibitions ever staged”, in British cinemas, a first for the museum.
The other big draw last month was the Ice Age Art exhibition, which, although it did not find a commercial sponsor, was described as a runaway success with 90,000 visitors, outstripping expectations by more than 130%he economic impact of the museum is not in question,” said FitzGerald, with one in 10 overseas tourists to the UK and one in four visitors to London visiting it. “More important is its creative and intellectual contribution.”