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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE: MORE ADULTS AND CHILDREN ARE VISITING BRITAIN’S MUSEUMS


Don’t believe the hype: more adults and children are visiting Britain’s museums
But it’s hard to predict how budget cuts will impact on attendance, especially in regional centres

By Maurice Davies. Web only
Published online: 22 February 2012

Recently published research found that 40% of British children aged five to 12 have never visited an art gallery. Claiming to have identified a “culture starved’ generation, the study also found, somewhat less dramatically, that 17% of children have never visited a museum with their parents.

On closer reading, the research seems to be part of a public relations ploy to get parents to take their children to cultural venues in Britain’s second largest city. Commissioned by the tourism body Visit Birmingham and published in February, the research concludes rather clumsily: “Many attractions in Birmingham and the wider region have free entry, particularly for children, and you can learn much from visiting landmarks and exploring the history about them. Modern children would really benefit from including more cultural activity in their lives, which is invaluable to their learning.”

It’s a worthwhile sentiment and surely a good thing to market the city’s cultural attractions; certainly a better way to spend a day than slogging round the Bull Ring shopping centre, even with its Future Systems-designed branch of Selfridges.


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