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Land of exhibition fans Museums a firm part of Swiss culture

Good value and great fun: annual “museum nights” like this one in Bern in 2017


Swiss museums attract more than a million people a month on average – with art museums being the most popular, followed by historical and technical institutions. 

On Tuesday, the Federal Statistics Officeexternal link released its first round-up of statistics related to museums. There are 1,111 Swiss museums, most of them (367) regional or local. After these, art (171), technical (140) and historical (126) museums are most common. 

In 2015, Swiss museums registered 12.1 million admissions – more than half of them at 49 institutions. Art museums attracted 3.3 million visitors. While the most popular museums welcome more than 50,000 guests annually, nearly 75% get fewer than 5,000. Altogether, Swiss museums gave 102,500 tours. 

There are museums dotted all over the country; every fourth village has one, notes the statistics office. Most are in German-speaking Switzerland, but Italian-speaking canton Ticino has the highest density. 

In 2014, 72% of the population visited a museum, an exhibition or a gallery, notes the statistics office, adding that of those with a tertiary degree, 88% visited a museum. 

Many museums are financed via public coffers – with nearly half listing public monies as their main source of funding. These statistics may well influence how much money museums receive in the future.

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