33 million people around world view items loaned from Britain's iconic museums

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LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of items loaned by British museums and galleries to cultural centers across the world were viewed by more than 33 million people in the past year, culture officials in London revealed Friday.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said British museums loaned nearly 450,000 objects from national collections across the globe in 2018.

Nearly 70,000 objects from British collections were on display in cultural venues across the world last year, and an additional 370,982 objects were lent to thousands of institutions for research, development and educational purposes.

The National Museums Partnership Report shows that in total, the items loaned were seen by more than 33 million visitors, and informed more than 1,300 research projects with partner institutions.

"The national museums in the UK hold world-class collections, amounting to around 275 million objects, and are some of the most generous lending institutions in the world," said DCMS.

National museums in Britain lent more than 60,000 items last year to over 750 regional museums and galleries in the U.K. These items were seen by more than 18.5 million visitors, delivering a welcome boost to local economies.

"The loans are a tremendous way of allowing audiences around the world to encounter, experience and engage with the national collection," added DCMS.

Last year 17 national museums and galleries in Britain toured 41 exhibitions to 79 international venues, drawing crowds of more than 7 million people.

International loans from the national collections supported the GREAT Britain campaign, the British Government's flagship promotional campaign to encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK.

Arts Minister Rebecca Pow said: "Our fantastic national museums are a cultural magnet that attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year. I'm delighted to see that by loaning objects to local, regional and international galleries, last year more than 33 million extra people got to enjoy and engage with treasures from our national collection."

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said: "At the National Portrait Gallery we are proud of our long history of partnership activity both nationally and internationally.

"During the past year our international program, including the flagship exhibition Tudors to Windsors, has toured to Europe, the USA and Australia and been seen by over 400,000 people. We hope that sharing our collection in this way will create a personal connection for visitors to British history helping us to fulfil our aim of being truly a national gallery for everyone."

Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said: "As custodians of the world's most important natural history collection, it is of paramount importance to us that it is shared with researchers worldwide to help find solutions to the many challenges facing the planet.

Last year alone, we shared 43,000 specimens with researchers in 60 countries and our Digital Collections Program enabled 6.5 billion downloads of specimen records for use by scientists and the public." Enditem

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