Israel Museum celebrates: 500,000 Visitors in six months

ByELIE LESHEM, ITRAVELJERUSALEM
January 19, 2011 16:31

Museum directors' announce record-high attendance since inauguration of renewed campus in July 2010; report projects up to one million visitors in 2011, highest number in museum's history.

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James Snyder

James snyder_311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

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The Israel Museum on Wednesday celebrated half a million visitors since inaugurating its renewed campus in July, 2010, awarding the lucky visitor number 500,000 with a lifetime pass.

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“In just under six months, the renewed museum has welcomed unprecedented numbers, including first-time visitors from across the country and tourists from around the world, through an engaging program of exhibitions, guided tours, public events, and educational activities,” the museum announced in a statement.

According to Israel Museum Director James Snyder, the figure was “well beyond... expectations” and signaled an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the extensive renovation work conducted at the campus. “We are grateful to the public for this notable display of interest and support,” he said.

Attendance statistics released by the museum indeed supported Snyder’s statement, as during the three years that the renewal work was taking place, the average annual number of visitors was half a million. In 2010, however,  the total figure spiked to 718,000, and the 500,000 mark was surpassed in just under six months. The museum is projecting up to one million visitors in 2011, the highest number in its history.

The happy winner of a lifetime pass to the museum was Uta Lahme, from the village of Meden near Dortmund in Germany, who probably was not expecting to be showered with so much attention on her first visit to the museum. Lahme was also presented with a copy of the new Contemporary Art catalogue, signed by Snyder.

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