How to draw more visitors to museums?

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Why, by spreading rumours of course. This, at least, was what the Indonesian experience was when museum directors found out that the reason for the jump in visitors to a hominids exhibition was because bus drivers were spreading a rumour on an exhibit of a snake’s head on a man’s body. The anecdote seems to highlight a cultural reason behind why Indonesians (and arguably, Malaysians) don’t visit their museums despite the richness of artefacts artefacts contained within. I must say that Singapore’s management plan for promoting museums is in contrast quite good – while many overseas friends and colleagues have pointed out to me that Singapore has a comparable lack of depth and content, the marketing and public engagement machinery has been quite successful in inserting the museum into part of the local recreational lifestyle rather than the common school excursion niche.

Houses of history need updating
Jakarta Post, 24 July 2009
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Categories: Indonesia Museums