Thyssen Museum lost €5 million in 2013

Madrid art gallery received fewer visitors and less in government subsidies compared with 2012

Setting up the Pissarro exhibition, one of the Thyssen’s major shows in 2013.
Setting up the Pissarro exhibition, one of the Thyssen’s major shows in 2013.Luis Sevillano

There are fewer visitors, those who do come are less inclined to spend their money, and the state is giving out fewer subsidies.

All three factors go some way towards explaining why the 2013 accounts for Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza art museum are showing losses in the range of €5.2 million, a tremendous increase in the negative balance of just €22,462 in 2012.

The gallery received 944,346 visitors last year, representing a near 25-percent drop from the 1,250,000 visits in 2012 – something the Thyssen had been expecting.

Evidently, organizing the highly praised Impressionism and the Open Air, Hyperrealism 1967-2012 and Camille Pissarro shows had not been enough. Or maybe it was just impossible to equal the attendance figures of the Edward Hopper exhibition that had drawn admirers by the thousands a year earlier.

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This drop in visitors resulted in smaller revenues at the cafeteria, gift shop and other related services, which fell from €4.9 million to €3.5 million. Spending per visitor fell to €2.83, below the museum’s own forecast of €3.59.

And then there was the drop in public subsidies to €2.6 million.

Still, the truth is that revenues increased slightly from 2012, climbing from a little over €19 million to more than €20.9 million.

The negative figures are the result of expenditure in excess of €26 million.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation’s financial report was released four days after the capital’s Reina Sofía contemporary art center unveiled that it, too, had more expenses than revenues and had been forced to dip into its reserves to make up the difference.

A month ago, it emerged that the city’s Prado Museum lost around €6.09 million last year.

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