Dan Rang - Dec 16, 2008
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One of the biggest events of the European museum season is over. From 5th September till 8th December, the famous Albertina Gallery in Vienna presented its most significant autumn exhibition of 51 paintings and 89 aquarelles, black and white as well as coloured ones, by probably the most famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

About 589,000 visitors overall from all over Europe, i.e. 6200 per day, came to Vienna to see this particular exhibition and it was thus the most successful event Albertina has ever seen. It is no surprise since it presented the comprehensive collection of this world-famous author for the first time in 50 years.

The attendance surpassed the expectations of the gallery management, who expected 150,000 less visitors to come. Most of the pictures were generously lent by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, yet there were also rare pieces from private collections.

As for the organisation, Albertina once again proved to be one of Europe’s most prominent galleries. More than a hundred extra staff was hired for this particular exhibition, who managed to keep the waiting visitors “in line” and prevent conflicts among the waiting crowds. The entrance fees were not raised and the opening hours on the other hand were extended for this special event, which was good and quite surprising news for the visitors.

The huge amount of attendants surely pleased the management but at the same time brought some inconveniences for the visitors themselves. “We were quite lucky since we decided to come on a working day,” Lenka Safarova, a visitor from the Czech Republic told us. “We had to take a day off at work, but it was definitely a good choice. It took us only about 15 minutes to get into the gallery. A friend of mine came here on Saturday and spent 3,5 hours in the queue for the tickets. The organisation was great, there were just too many people,” she added.

Those who missed this opportunity may not have the chance to see so many Van Gogh’s works in one place for the next five decades or maybe even more.

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