Page last updated at 02:02 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 03:02 UK

Banksy graffiti works enter world exhibition top 30

Banksy vs Bristol Museum
Banksy vs Bristol Museum exhibition had just under 4,000 visitors a day

An exhibition in Bristol by graffiti artist Banksy was among the top 30 most visited global exhibitions in 2008/9.

The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery event, which attracted nearly 4,000 people a day, and the new Saatchi gallery were the only British entries.

A Buddhist exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum topped the list, with nearly 16,000 visitors a day.

The Louvre in Paris topped the museum attendance list, with more than 8m visitors, the Art Newspaper reports.

The British Museum was second with 5.56m visitors.

Both the Banksy and the Saatchi exhibition, which examined Chinese contemporary art, were free to the public.

The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery has never featured in the list before.

1. Ashura and Masterpieces from Kohfukuji - Tokyo National Museum, 15,960 visitors per day
2. 61st Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures - Nara National Museum, 14,965 visitors per day
3. Treasures of the Imperial Collections - Tokyo National Museum, 9,473 visitors per day
4. 17th Century Painting from the Louvre, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 9,267 visitors per day
5. 2nd Photoquai Biennale, Musee Quai Branly, Paris, 7,868 visitors per day
6. Picasso and the Masters, Grand Palais, Paris, 7,270 visitors per day
7. Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 6,553 visitors per day
8. Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 6,299 visitors per day
9. Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 6,186 visitors per day
10. Treasures of the Habsburg Monarcy, National Art Centre, Tokyo, 5,609 visitors per day
Source: The Art Newspaper

The attendance for last summer's Banksy exhibition, which was not publicised in advance because it had to be prepared in secret, beat the likes of the Anish Kapoor show at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Japanese events took the top four places in the exhibitions league.

Along with the Buddhist exhibition based on the treasures from the Kohfukuji temple, the Tokyo National Museum also hosted Treasures of the Imperial Collections, which was fourth on the list.

In second place was the 61st Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures at the Nara National Museum, in the ancient Japanese city of Nara.

A show based on 17th Century painting from the Louvre at Tokyo's National Museum of Western Art, featuring works by the likes of Rembrandt, Velazquez and Poussin, was in fourth spot.

In the museums list, three other British institutions made the top 30 besides the British Museum - the National Gallery, Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum, all in London.

The effects of the recession have yet to show themselves as big exhibitions can take years to prepare and may have had sponsorship deals in place for a long time.

But with fewer businesses able to sponsor blockbuster exhibitions, visitor numbers may be down in next year's list, according to the Art Newspaper.

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