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Venice Biennale bows out with more than half a million visitors

56th edition drew record crowds over a longer period

The organisers of the Venice Biennale, which closed on Sunday (22 November), say that the 56th edition, which included 89 official national pavilions, drew more than 500,000 visitors. The last edition in 2013 attracted 475,000 people though it ran for a shorter period (1 June-24 November); this year’s event started three weeks earlier than usual, opening on 9 May.

The central show, All the World’s Futures, the most politically oriented in years, was organised by Okwui Enwezor, the director of Haus der Kunst in Munich. He transformed a gallery of the Central Pavilion in the Giardini into a theatrical space dedicated entirely to a continuous reading of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital.

The organisers of the biennial have provided a raft of other statistics relating to this year’s event, including social media data. The 120-year-old biennale currently has more than 452,000 followers on Twitter, a 79% increase on last year. And the exhibition can still be visited online via the biennale’s platform with the Google Cultural Institute.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the 15th international architecture biennial which opens in Venice next year (28 May-23 November 2016) have announced the launch of a new pavilion in partnership with the United Nations (Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development: Habitat III), and the London School of Economics (LSE).

A biennale statement says “the Pavilion Habitat III will approach the urbanisation issue [focusing on] conflicting tensions between public and private interests related to urban spaces”.  The pavilion’s curator is Richard Burdett, the professor of urban studies at the LSE.