The 49th Venice Biennale closed on 10 October. During the four months of the exhibition, there were 175,211 visitors, a marked increase over last time which registered the lowest attendance ever with 97,000. Nevertheless, it is still below average compared with the other post-war editions (notably the 1976 exhibition which had 692,000 visitors), unless one adds in the 110,000 visitors officially registered by the municipality for the Francis Bacon and Peter Greenaway shows. Takings amounted to over L1.5 billion (£535,000; $802,500), to which must be added another L1.5 billion's worth of sponsorship, against Biennale expenditure of slightly under L5 billion (£1.8 million; $2.7 million). Official takings for Bacon were L532 million (£190,000; $285,000) - rather less than the L700 million the organisers hope to make - and for Greenaway, L277 million (£98,000; $147,000).
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Venice Biennale: 175,211 visitors; Francis Bacon and Peter Greenaway side-shows: 110,000'