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219,000 people visited museums during Night of Museums this year

RIGA, May 21 - A total of 219,111 people visited museums in Latvia during the Night of Museums last weekend, but the total turnout was higher yet because so far only data on museum visitors have been collated, as the Culture Ministry's public relations officer Lolita Rusina told LETA.

Also, visitors spend more time in museums during the Night of Museums this year as museums offered more versatile and extensive programs this year.

According to the Culture Ministry's data, the largest number of museum visitors during the Night of Museums was recorded in 2011 when museums were visited by 271,036 people in total, and the smallest in 2006 - 128,800 visitors.

The organizers believe that the number of museum visitors this year was smaller in Riga because the Latvian National Museum of Art and Riga Motor Museum have closed for reconstruction.

Latvian War Museum had the highest number of visitors during the Night of Museums this year - 22,437; Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation had 11,105 visitors and Art Museum "Riga Bourse" 11,621 visitors.

The number of museum visitors in Kurzeme and Latgale provinces this year was slightly higher than in 2012: a total of 26,618 people visited museums in Kurzeme and 11,288 in Latgale.

As reported, besides museums, many cooperation partners also participated in the Night of Museums this year, including libraries and theaters, several churches, government and municipal buildings, Saeima building, the House of the Blackheads and others.

According to the Latvian National Commission of the International Council of Museums, museum visitors were also more disciplined this year - no incidents were reported, and the lines at museums were not as long as in the past several years.

This year, the theme of the Night of Museums was "Forest - the Color of Green". Museums offered various interpretations on the theme: there were events dedicated to Latvian forests, hunting, trees, ecology and sustainable living. 
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