2 millionth visitor breaks National Museum of Scotland record

Ten-year-old Zac Lewis comes face to face with a two-million-year-old tiger skull. Photo © Neil Hanna.

Photo Above: Child With Dinosaur Fossil © NMS 

By Becca Inglis

The National Museum of Scotland announced a record number of annual visitors yesterday.

So far, two million people have crossed the museum’s threshold this year, the first time that this milestone has been reached in its 150 year history.

Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said: “Welcoming over two million visitors in a calendar year for the first time in our history is a huge achievement. Through the efforts of our staff, the creativity of our design teams and the support of many funders, we have been able to create a truly world class Museum.”

The two millionth visitor was ten-year-old Zac Lewis from Edinburgh, who was on a day out with his mum Eriko.

He said: “It was really exciting to be the two millionth person to visit the National Museum of Scotland this year. I come here all the time with my mum and I’ve been coming since I was little.”

The museum’s good news arrived just days after a review into government funding for the sector was published.

The Mendoza report last Tuesday was generally complimentary of museums in England, writing that “the breadth and quality of exhibitions and programming of England’s museums have been transformed over the past 25 years.”

This is in spite of a reduction in government funding, which has decreased by 13% when inflation is taken into account.

The National Museum of Scotland is now the most popular museum outside of London.

The number of visitors has tripled since its £80 million redevelopment programme started in 2007.

The 15-year plan to overhaul the museum included a £47.4 million architectural renovation phase, which was completed in 2011, and the opening of ten new major galleries.

Two galleries devoted to Egypt and East Asia will complete the master plan in early 2019.