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Number of museum visits in 2017 highest in history

900,000 people visited museums in Tartu County, the Estonian National Museum included.
900,000 people visited museums in Tartu County, the Estonian National Museum included. Source: Berta Vosman

Museums continue to be popular. According to Statistics Estonia, the country's museums reported more than 3.5 million visits for 2017. In 2017 Estonia had a total of 186 museums. Some of them have branches in several locations. Those branches included, the total number is 242.

As Statistics Estonia reported on Friday, the number of visitors to Estonian museums went beyond 3.5 million last year, which is a new record. Compared to 2016, there were 50,000 more visits. As expected, the greatest number of visits were reported by museums in Harju County (1.7 million), followed by Tartu County with 900,000, and Lääne-Viru County with 230,000.

Visits by foreign tourists accounted for 35 percent of the total. The share of foreign tourists was greatest in the Harju and Saare counties, and smallest in the Rapla and Järva counties.

In 2017 there were 2,659 museum visits per 1,000 Estonian residents. According to the European Group of Museum Statistics (EGMUS), this is one of the highest scores in Europe.

Excluding branches, 39 percent of museums are Estonian-owned private museums, 35 percent belong to local councils, 32 percent are owned by the state, and 2 percent are foreign-owned private museums. Taking branches into account, one third belong to the state, one third to local governments, and one third are private museums.

While private museums mostly operate in a single location, state museums have many branches: 39 state museums ran a total of 69 locations in 2017.

Since 2009 the Night of Museums has been organized in Estonia. For one Saturday night in May, museums stay open longer, and entry is free of charge. As 2018 is the Estonian centennial, this time the Night of Museums will focus on celebratory traditions.

The Night of Museums is taking place on May 19 and is titled "Night of Parties". More information is available on the event's website.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: Statistics Estonia

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