Museums lose visitors after return of entrance fees

Visits to Swedish museums have fallen by a third since the government reintroduced entrance charges in January.

The Museum of Architecture in Stockholm has suffered most from the new charges, with visitor numbers falling 83 percent, according to Dagens Nyheter. Some 26,000 people visited the museum in January 2006, but only 4,480 people visited last month.

The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities saw 59 percent fewer visitors and the Museum of National Antiquities saw numbers fall by 52 percent. The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg lost around a quarter of last January’s visitors, falling from 14,771 to 10,977 last month.

The Army Museum in Stockholm saw visitor numbers fall by 13 percent, from 6,099 to 5,283.

Culture minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth said she did not know what would happen to museums that suffer financial problems due to low visitor numbers.

“If that happens we will have to discuss with them what they can do to increase their incomes,” she told Dagens Nyheter.