Victoria Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher
Tutankhamun Breaks Box Office Records For Melbourne
Victor P Taffa
Victoria’s major events success has taken on a golden glow with final figures showing Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs has smashed box office records for touring exhibitions in Australia.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said the exhibition, which closed its doors on Sunday, had been a triumph for Victoria attracting a total attendance of 796,277 (bringing worldwide attendances for Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs to more than eight million).
“The Victorian Coalition Government is proud to support these hugely successful blockbuster exhibitions because big visitor numbers means more jobs for Victorians and a significant boost for the Victorian economy.” Ms. Asher said.
“Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs has not only provided Victorians with a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the treasures of the boy king in their own Melbourne Museum, but has also attracted more than 326,000 interstate and international visitors (41 % of attendees), driving outstanding tourism and economic benefits for Victoria.”
“In addition, almost 95,000 people attended the exhibition with a school or community group, giving them a unique insight into daily life in ancient Egypt.”
“In Australia, only a handful of exhibitions have exceeded attendances of 300,000. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs stands head and shoulders above this, a testament to Melbourne’s continuing reputation as Australia’s cultural hub.”
“With more than 44 % of attendees being first time visitors, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs brought new audiences to Melbourne Museum.”
Other recent exhibitions with attendances over the 300,000 mark include:
- Titanic: the Artefact Exhibition at Melbourne Museum with 481,000;
- Masterpieces from Paris at the National Gallery of Australia with 476,000;
- The Impressionists at the National Gallery of Victoria with 380,000;
- A Day in Pompeii at Melbourne Museum with almost 333,000;
- Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire at the National Gallery of Victoria with almost 333,000;
- The First Emperor: China’s entombed warriors at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with more than 305,000.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs was part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series which brings some of the world’s best art and cultural exhibitions to Melbourne.
“This exhibition brings Melbourne Winter Masterpieces attendances to almost 3.5 Million, delivering millions of dollars in economic benefit, enhancing Victoria’s liveability and strengthening Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s cultural capital.” Ms. Asher said.
Stephen Flint Wood, Managing Director of IMG Arts & Entertainment, said the exhibition had been a true success in every sense of the word.
“Tutankhamun has definitely made his impact on Melbourne and Australians have embraced this exhibition, which celebrates a period in time that holds such historical significance.” Mr. Flint Wood said.
“We would like to acknowledge and thank the Victorian Government, the Victorian Major Events Company, Arts Victoria, Melbourne Museum and all the sponsors of the exhibition.”
“The Australian visit of this record-breaking exhibition would not have been possible without their support.” Mr. Flint Wood said.
Museum Victoria CEO Dr. J Patrick Greene said the success of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs had been one of Melbourne Museum’s most significant achievements.
“This outstanding exhibition has brought with it a record number of visitors to both the museum and to Victoria.” Dr. Greene said.
“That so many people have been able to experience the treasures uncovered during one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries is something of which we are immensely proud.”
Ms. Asher said next year’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series will feature Game Masters, presented at ACMI from 28 June to 28 October 2012 and Napoleon: Revolution to Empire, presented at NGV International from 2 June to 7 October 2012.