UK museums loan around 450,000 objects across the world

A new DCMS National Museums Partnership Report reveals that an extra 33 million people saw objects from UK museums last year thanks to around 450,000 objects being loaned from 17 national museums.

750 museums across the UK benefitted from national museums loaning more than 60,000 objects, which were seen by more than 18.5 million visitiors, boasting local economies.

Showing the power of exporting culture worldwide, the 17 national museums toured 41 exhibitions to 79 international venues, which were attended by around 7 million people.

Download and read the report here.

Arts Minister Rebecca Pow said: "We know that our superb national museums are a cultural magnet attracting millions of visitors from around the world every year. I’m thrilled that as a result of loaning thousands of objects from these museums to a wide range of local, regional and international galleries, last year more than 33 million extra people were able to enjoy and engage with treasures from our national collection. It’s UK soft power at its best, and benefits all those involved in these innovative partnerships."

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said: "The Partnership Report highlights the incredible work being done by the National Museums to share their collections throughout the UK and abroad, giving opportunities for new and diverse audiences to access our unique art and heritage. At the National Portrait Gallery we are proud of our long history of partnership activity both nationally and internationally."

"During the past year our international programme, including the flagship exhibition Tudors to Windsors, has toured to Europe, the USA and Australia and been seen by over 400,000 people. We hope that sharing our Collection in this way will create a personal connection for visitors to British history helping us to fulfil our aim of being truly a national gallery for everyone."

As well as exhibiting these items from collections, 370,982 items were loaned to thousands of institutions around the world for research and educational purposes, among other non-commercial reasons. These were used in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the human race today.

2,584 partnerships, with 1,559 of them international, were also made between museums for research and other academic activity in 2017/18.

The national museums are part of a wider eco-system of museum partnerships, and this report also seeks to highlight the ways the whole museums sector uses partnerships to broaden cultural participation and attract new audiences, provide learning and educational opportunities, improve health and wellbeing, and develop skills and careers.


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