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The Guggenheim museum will remain in Bilbao for the foreseeable future. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced yesterday that it was renewing the agreement is has with the Basque museum until 2034. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has welcomed almost 17 million visitors and staged over 140 exhibitions since it opened in 1997; and has had much success over the 17 years that is has engaged with the public. In fact the museum success quickly triggered the redevelopment of the formerly decrepit port area of Bilbao and bolstered tourism in the entire Basque Country.

The regeneration of the area and the economic evolution of the country was coined the “Guggenheim effect" soon after to describe this museum-led process.

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This year’s 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, which closed yesterday, was the most controversial architecture iteration of the festival in recent memory — and the most popular, according to statistics released by the Biennale over the weekend. A record number of visitors made their way through the Giardini and Arsenale from June 7 through November 23: 228,000 according to a statement released by the exhibition.

The expanded audience comes in response both to director Rem Koolhaas’s monumental presence in contemporary architectural discourse, but also to this year’s expanded length. In previous years, the Architecture Biennale only ran for three months; Koolhaas doubled that to six months, making 2014 the first year that the architecture display and art display have had equal run times.

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Visitors to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s presentation of four special exhibitions during the spring/summer 2014 season—"Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century;" "The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham with Günther Vogt;" "Charles James: Beyond Fashion;" and "Garry Winogrand"—generated an estimated $753 million in spending in New York, according to a visitor survey released by the Museum today. Using the industry standard for calculating tax revenue impact, the study found that the direct tax benefit to the City and State from out-of-town visitors to the Museum totaled some $75.3 million. (Study findings below.) 53% of the out-of-town exhibition visitors reported that visiting the Met was a key motivating factor in their decision to visit New York.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, noted: “As this annual survey continues to indicate, the Met’s stellar range of exhibitions, as well as its renowned collection, are recognized world-wide for their excellence, and continue to draw domestic and international visitors to New York in large numbers. This visitorship plays a vital role in the City’s cultural tourism, which is a powerful contributor to the economic well-being of New York.”

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Could ArtPrize do what it did for Grand Rapids, Michigan in Dallas? That’s what the city is hoping — and that’s why they entered a three-year charter agreement to bring the art competition to the Lone Star State. The 2014 edition of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids covered every part of the city with art by both amateur and established artists, bringing in over 400,000 visitors to the city and creating a $22.2 million dollar economic impact.

“ArtPrize Dallas will create a lasting impact on the culture of Dallas by engaging and nurturing future artists and promoting a meaningful discussion of art and its role in society,” said Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings in a statement."

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A new pedestrian bridge by architect Michael Maltzan that crosses the courtyard of the Hammer Museum will open early next year, officials said Wednesday, and will connect the most trafficked galleries to those that new visitors are most likely to miss.

The 33.5-foot bridge will probably open for use at the beginning of February, the Westwood museum said. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24.

"We have long wanted a bridge built to improve the flow of our space and connect the permanent and temporary galleries," Hammer Director Ann Philbin said. She added that the bridge will help new visitors find their way to the permanent collection gallery.

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German painters Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz sold works for more than $2 million each, and American artist Mike Kelley’s mixed media that used buttons, beads and shells fetched more than $1 million, as the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain ended on Sunday in Paris.

Organizers said 74,567 people attended the main fair at the Grand Palais and more than 14,000 visitors went to (Off)icialle, a new sister event with 68 galleries that focused on younger or overlooked artists on a dock along the Seine in east Paris.

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The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay -- France's top three most visited museums -- will soon open seven days a week, the government said Wednesday.

The measure is expected to come into force between 2015 and 2017, ending a practice that currently sees those top tourist sites closed one day a week, on Monday or Tuesday.

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When “60 Minutes” did a flattering piece last year on this old West Texas cow town turned hip cultural mecca, it was following a path already taken by Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Marveling at oddities like the “Food Shark” and “El Cosmico,” and noting the harmony among cowboys and artists, reporter Morley Safer pronounced Marfa “a capital of quirkiness.” In closing, he bid a “fond farewell to the magic kingdom of Marfa.”

But while few doubt that the arts and tourism have rescued Marfa from decline, some see a price to be paid for being the darling getaway spot for well-heeled visitors from Houston, New York and California.

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Free Wi-Fi is now available throughout the National Gallery – the first of a number of major steps that the Gallery is taking to provide a warmer welcome for visitors.

Director of Public Engagement, Dr Susan Foister, said: “We are proud to introduce Wi-Fi to the Gallery, heralding new plans to enhance the experience of our visitors and to engage a broader audience. We know that when people feel inspired they often like to share the moment, so along with the free Wi-Fi service we are now welcoming visitor photography: from now on people will be able to share their experience of the Gallery and its paintings with friends and family through social media.”

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:23

National Gallery Lifts Photography Ban

The National Gallery is allowing visitors to take their own photographs of its collection for the first time, after staff realised they were fighting a losing battle against mobile phones.

The gallery, which has until now banned members of the public from taking their own pictures, will now permit visitors to take amateur photographs on their personal phones and cameras.

The change in policy came about after staff found it increasingly difficult to differentiate between guests using their mobile phones to research paintings on the gallery's free wifi, and those trying to take photos.

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