The 14th edition of the Brussels Museums ‘Nocturnes’ event, which ended on Thursday night, saw over 20,000 people through the doors, said Keymeulen Joy, project manager at the Brussels Museum Council on Monday. Attendance has gradually increased over the years, with 2013 seeing a record 23,500+ visitors. 2014’s ‘extra-large’ edition, which launched on September 18th, hosted 14 special events across 63 museums and 85 night-time openings. The drop in attendance compared to last year is thought to be mainly due to the many strikes that have plagued the city in recent months.
A special theme geared towards children, new to this year’s main event and which was held on October 30th, was a great success, welcoming around 3,200 people across 8 museums. The physics and chemistry ‘Experimentarium’ on the ULB campus (Université Libre de Bruxelles), the only new addition to this year’s edition, engaged children in doing small experiments. The Police Museum meanwhile, attracted more than 700 visitors over the course of the evening. Overall, attendance was proportional to the activities each museum offered, as they are what attracted the public to see at the museums over a more traditional visit.
Some 2,600 people went to the closing ceremony spread across 6 Mont des Arts museums, including the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Bozar, the Coudenberg, the Belgian Royal Library, the BIP and the Belvue Museum. On the opening night on the town square on September 18th, more than 2,400 people visited the open museums.
The Bozar Museum came out top of the attendance hit list, with 1,380 visitors on the evening of December 18th. And over the course of the event, it was the Ixelles museum that saw over 1,000 visitors for its children’s Nocturnes event and high attendance for its exhibition on the painter Paul Delvaux. During the opening ceremony, the Brussels City Museum also stood out in the attendance figures, seeing over 1,000 visitors come through its doors.