The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greetings from Berlin VI

Museums, Galleries and Exhibition Spaces Strengthen Economic Power of the City

When I told somebody ten years ago that I come from Berlin, the person said usually: „Well, interesting.“ When I tell these days somebody that Berlin is my home town, my vis-à-vis usually exclaims: „Wow! This is fabulous! I want to visit it!“

People are visiting Berlin of course for many reasons, because of its history or because of its cool atmosphere. But among the visitors there are quite a lot who come to see exhibitions. A study, carried out by a bank (Investitionsbank Berlin), published this Monday, revealed that the number of exhibition visitors has increased by six millions from 2002 to 2010. This means a gain of 73 percent!

                  Exhausted exhibition visitors view the "Alte Museum" (Old Museum) from inside the Humboldt-Box.

The interesting point is that – how the study shows – this increase in visitors has produced a remarkable growth in sales: the museums and galleries in Berlin achieved in 2010 a turnover of 263.2 million euros, 25 percent more than in 2009.

I am normally not easily impressed by figures, but I really enjoyed reading that every exhibition visitor spends of course more than just the entrance fee as he or she drinks perhaps a coffee in a bar near the museum et cetera. So, for example, the visitors of the photography exhibitions of C/O Berlin produce an additional purchasing of 6.43 millions. This again could create 69 new employments in the neighbourhood and this would increase the annual gross domestic product by 10.45 million euros. 

Compared to the general economic power of Berlin (more than 90 billions), this may sound marginal but for a city which promotes itself with the slogan “Poor but Sexy”, this means a lot.

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