Posted on 04. Jun, 2010 in Victoria

Melbourne Museum has welcomed its seven millionth visitor since opening in the Carlton Gardens in 2000, Arts Minister Peter Batchelor announced today.
Mr Batchelor said the astounding success of Melbourne Museum was an example of the Victorian community’s long-standing support for the institution as well as the important role it played in telling the stories of Victoria.
“Since October 2000, seven million people from across Australia and the world have experienced the Museum’s exhibitions, activities, lectures, forums and performances,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Melbourne Museum is Australia’s most popular museum and it’s not hard to see why. Whether it is exploring the prehistoric era, tracing our indigenous heritage, or learning about the mysteries of the human mind, our museum offers something for all tastes.”

Mr Batchelor said museum attendance increased significantly in 2003 when the Victorian Labor Government introduced free entry for children and concession card holders.

“The Museum has been embraced by the Victorian community and has welcomed visitors from almost every postcode in the State,” he said.

Mr Batchelor said last year saw record attendance for the museum, with 1,014,295 visitors, ably supported by the opening of two new permanent exhibitions – Dinosaur Walk and Wild: Amazing Animals in a changing world, and the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition – A Day in Pompeii.

A Day in Pompeii was a great success for the museum. It alone attracted 332,679 people, including more than 42,000 school students, and became the most popular temporary exhibition held in an Australian museum, and the fourth biggest antiquities exhibition in the world in 2009.”

Museum Victoria CEO Dr Patrick Greene said he was excited by the growth the museum had experienced during the past 10 years.

“This milestone is a great acknowledgement of Melbourne Museum’s exciting and engaging programs and exhibitions, and a testament to the immense support of the Victorian community,” Dr Greene said.

Mr Batchelor said 2010 was already shaping up to be another bumper year with the opening of the final two permanent exhibitions in the four-part redevelopment of the Science and Life Gallery – 600 Million Years: Victoria evolves and Dynamic Earth, as well as the international blockbuster Titanic exhibition, which welcomed more than 24,000 visitors in its first two weeks.

Mr Batchelor paid tribute to the Museums Board of Victoria and Museum Victoria, who oversee Melbourne Museum as well as the Royal Exhibition Building, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum staff and dedicated volunteers.

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