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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 15:05 GMT
Monet display breaks all records
Exhibition
The exhibition has been one of the galleries' most successful
A major exhibition of paintings by Claude Monet in Edinburgh has broken box office records after it attracted more than 173,000 people in two months.

Extra tickets had to be printed after the box office at the National Galleries of Scotland ran out and late openings were organised to meet the demand for the Edinburgh show's final weekend.

The Seine and the Sea exhibition featured 90 paintings by the impressionist master borrowed from galleries around the world.

Also on show were paintings dating from two stylistically distinct periods in the artist's career, from 1878 to 1883.

The event had previously broken the galleries' record for the most visitors ever recorded in the first week of an exhibition when 19,000 people came during its first week.

Galleries spokesman Sir Timothy Clifford said the success of the Monet exhibition had exceeded all expectations.

He said: "We thought it was going to be successful as we've never tried to something like this off Princes Street, which is a very popular street.

"It has worked like a dream and the public have come in in vast quantities and I'm hoping that this exhibition has been so good, and people have enjoyed it so much, that they will come back again and again."

Sir Timothy Clifford
Sir Timothy hopes visitors will return to future events
The exhibition marked the completion of extensive renovations at the Royal Scottish Academy.

The RSA has been refurbished as part of the 30m five-year project to link it with the neighbouring National Gallery of Scotland.

Showing alongside the exhibition was a collection of works by French landscape painters who inspired Monet's work, including Corot and Courbet.

During the second stage of the restoration, an underground link, due to be completed in 2004, will be built between the RSA and the National Gallery of Scotland.

The new subterranean space will also house a 200-seat lecture theatre, cafe and shop.

Michael Clarke, director of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "I think Monet has proved that we are knocking at an open door. People want this and we are going to provide it.

"Amazingly for a national gallery, we don't have decent restaurants, decent toilets, cloakrooms or education facilities. This link will deliver all that in one great package."


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Pauline McLean
"A record 173,000 people bought tickets to the show"



SEE ALSO:
Gallery unveils Monet collection
04 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Titian bought for nation
26 Feb 03  |  Scotland
Canaletto discovered in gallery
15 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


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