Thursday, September 25, 2008

5 Millionth visitor to Jewish Museum in Berlin

The Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel reports that a 17-year-old highschool student, on a school trip, has become the 5 millionth visitor to the Jewish Museum in Berlin. According to the paper, Sarah-Denise Heellmanns was given a gift package and kosher gummy-bear candies.

The Museum opened in September 2001. Even before its formal opening, the empty building was a tourist draw because of its distinctive design by Daniel Libeskind. According to Tagesspiegel, it is the fifth most popular museum in Berlin, with 733,000 visitors in 2007 -- including 140,000 under the age of 18. (The Pergamon Museum hold the top spot with 1.3 million visitors). About two-thirds of visitors to the Jewish Museum come from outside of Germany.

According to a Museum Press Release

"a steady increase in visitor numbers has been sustained since 2004. In the first eight months of this year, around 515,000 people visited the Libeskind Building and the exhibitions on German-Jewish history, 8 % more than in the same period last year (visitor total in 2007: approx. 733,000).

"The Jewish Museum Berlin, whose zinc-coated building has long-since become established as one of the capital's landmarks, continues to belong to Berlin's greatest attractions and Germany's most frequented museums. The Museum is particularly popular with kids, teens, and twens: About every other visitor in 2007 was under 30 years old - a considerable number for a historical museum. The twens represent the largest visitor age group with 29 %. Almost every fifth visitor last year was under 18 (19 %). Young people often visit the Museum on school trips: Of the total number of over 7,000 tours booked in 2007, nearly two thirds (63 %) were for school groups."

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