According to the list of the international publication specializing in contemporary art, the Berardo Museum, located in Belém, is again, the only Portuguese museum to enter this list of the 100 most visited ones in the world in 2020, led by the Louvre Museum, in Paris, with 2.7 million entries.
In the list of the 100 most visited, there are also three museums in Brazil: in the 18th position, the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, in Rio de Janeiro, with 790 thousand visitors, in the 75th position the Tomie Ohtake Institute, in São Paulo, with 309 thousand visitors, and, in 84th place, the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center in São Paulo, with 282 thousand visitors.
The report points out that the one hundred most visited museums, in general, suffered a 77% drop due to the "devastating impact" of Covid-19, worldwide - between closings and limitations on entrance to exhibitions -, with the Berardo Museum registering a reduction of 70%, and the museums of Brazil that appear in the list between 45% and 70%.
The Art Newspaper - which has recorded visitor numbers for over 20 years - recalls that, in a normal year, more than nine million visitors would line up to see the painting of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's most famous work, in the Louvre in Paris, but in 2020 it was different: 54 million entries were registered in the 100 most visited museums, much less than the 230 million in 2019.
The Louvre Museum in Paris continued to lead visits in 2020, with 2.7 million entries (a 72% reduction compared to 2019), followed by the National Museum of China in Beijing with 1.6 million entries (a decrease of 78%), then the Tate Modern, in London, with 1.4 million (77%), the Vatican Museums, with 1.3 million (81%), and the British Museum, with 1.27 million (80%).
Sixth was the Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid, with 1.24 million entries (72%), the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, with 1.2 million (50%), the National Gallery, London, 1.19 million (80%), the Metropolitan, in New York, with 1.12 million (83%) and in tenth place, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, with 971 thousand entries (63 %).
In the report, which highlights the large losses, especially in European cities - Paris, London, and Madrid – are also mentioned the cases of the most visited museums in Brazil, where official data indicate closings in an average of 203 days in 2020, "more than in any other country" research shows.
More precisely, the report indicates that the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, the cultural arm of the largest bank in the country, which annually attracts thousands of visitors to the exhibitions in its facilities in Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, had an affluence combined of 1.6 million visitors, which represents a 72% decrease from the 5.6 million registered in 2019.
Visits to the Art Museum of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (140,738), the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo (44,176) and the Pinacoteca de São Paulo (135,518) suffered losses of 81%, 79% and 75% respectively, while the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo, registered a drop of 45%, reaching 309,760 visitors.
"Despite the increase of Covid-19 cases, Brazilian art institutions were under increasing pressure from the government to remain open. During the pandemic crisis, President Jair Bolsonaro pressured commerce to remain open and, in February, suspended vital funds to the cultural environment in regions that applied restrictions to contain the pandemic", reads in the report.
In Europe, The Art Newspaper points to the fall in international tourism, as one of the main factors of the decline in visits to museums, and consequently of its revenues, coming mainly from the most profitable months of the summer.
Paris, for example, received only 5% of its usual number of tourists and its three largest museums - the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, and the Musée d'Orsay - saw an overall drop of 73% from 4.5 million visitors, compared to 16.5 million in 2019, with some success stories, however, in exhibitions such as the one dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, which received 10,000 daily visitors.
The fall in tourism also affected the biggest museums in neighboring Spain: The Prado, in Madrid, had a fall of 76% (from 3.5 million in 2019 to 852,000), being forced to close 85 days, and the Queen Sofia Museum in 72% in turnout (from 4.4 million in 2019 to 1.2 million), closed 80 days, and then opened at 33% of capacity.
In turn, in Italy, the Vatican Museums, Uffizi and art galleries in Florence fell by 81%, 72% and 81%, respectively, and in the United Kingdom, Tate Modern was the most visited, surpassing the British Museum, which was ahead in the last decade, except in 2018.
In Portugal, museums lost between 70 and 80% of visitors, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a "drastic decrease", revealed a week ago, in a seminar in Lisbon, the president of the Portuguese Observatory of Cultural Activities (OPAC), José Soares Neves.
"Visitors were practically reduced to just locals," said José Soares Neves, about the universe of 660 museums in the country.
The progressive decommissioning program announced on March 11 by the Government allows, as of April 5, in the culture sector, the reopening of museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and the like.