Barcelona arts

Visitors to Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art increased by 2.8 per cent in 2012 to a total of 710,435 visitors.

Overseas visitors were up, and so were visits by local residents, thanks to extended evening opening hours on summer weekends and special discount programmes.

The most popular exhibition was by American artist Rita McBride, who lives and works in Dusseldorf and Rome. Her show Oferta pública/ Public Tender had 188,028 visitors.

However theatre is not doing as well as the visual arts. The Catalonia National Theatre saw a 28 per cent drop in ticket sales in 2012 and has decided to close one of its three spaces, the multi-purpose Sala Tallers. It is also cancelling part of its 2013 programme. The Sala Tallers presents most of the avant-garde contemporary work and it will be closed for two years.

The theatre believes that ticket sales will fall 31 per cent this year and that occupancy rates will be around 55 per cent instead of 73 per cent in 2012. The theatre is also worried that the Catalan government may reduce its grant for a second year and that sponsorship will continue to fall.