V&A Dundee has welcomed its one-millionth visitor today, just over 500 days after it first opened.
Seven-year-old Nalani Becker from Berlin arrived at the museum at 11.04am with her father Jan, while her mother was working at the University of Dundee.
The family are visiting friends in Dundee and technology enthusiast Nalani was excited to see the latest exhibition Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine which closes this Sunday and will not be shown anywhere else in the UK.
Nalani and Jan were surprised with a gift bag including Hello, Robot exhibition tickets, afternoon tea in Tatha Bar and Kitchen, and a voucher for £100 to spend in the museum shop.
The museum opened in September 2018 and welcomed over 830,000 visitors in its first year, far exceeding the estimate of 500,000.
V&A Dundee also had a £75 million economic impact across Scotland in its first year after opening, according to recent independent research conducted by Ekosgen and Reference Economic Consultants.
Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “I am thrilled that today we have welcomed our 1 millionth visitor, just over 500 days after opening the doors of Scotland’s first design museum.
“We have a hugely exciting year ahead, with the last chance to see our UK-exclusive exhibition Hello, Robot this weekend and our first major fashion exhibition Mary Quant opening in April. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to create V&A Dundee, and who continues to support its incredible success.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I’d like to congratulate V&A Dundee for welcoming its 1 millionth visitor, an impressive achievement and a sign of the museum’s strong appeal to visitors from around the world.
“The museum, built with the help of £38 million in Scottish Government funding, has already more than proved its cultural value, far exceeding expectations for visitor numbers and improving Scotland’s status as a prime destination for world-class cultural experiences.”
UK Arts Minister Helen Whately said: “In a short space of time V&A Dundee has had a huge impact: bringing millions to the Scottish economy, championing Scottish design and now celebrating its millionth visitor.
“The museum has become a tourist magnet, delivering huge benefits to Dundee and the surrounding area, and the UK Government is very proud to be one of its early backers.”
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “This is another tremendous achievement for V&A Dundee and the city.
“Our stunning museum is now very firmly part of the cultural fabric of Dundee, with its design galleries and exhibition programme attracting locals and visitors alike.
“It has raised Dundee’s international profile and played a key part in securing record-breaking tourism figures. V&A Dundee is helping to create jobs and new economic opportunities for the city.”
Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “When we took the decision to support V&A Dundee, we recognised the need for a world-class destination in Scotland to showcase the creativity, innovations and inventions that, over time, have changed lives across the world.
“We are delighted that it has reached this incredible milestone so soon. It is a real testimony to the thirst people have for exploring and celebrating their design heritage and a fitting reward for all who have contributed to the project’s success.”
V&A Dundee is currently showing Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine until 9 February 2020, which challenges our assumptions about robots and investigates how they are shaping the world we live in. The exhibition has never been shown in the UK before.
Hello, Robot has been reviewed as a “groundbreaking exhibition” by The Guardian and “an unprecedented exploration” by The Daily Telegraph, and been included as a critic’s choice by The Herald and The Times.
This will be followed by V&A Dundee’s first major fashion exhibition, Mary Quant, from 4 April 2020 and Night Fever: Designing Club Culture from 31 October 2020, another UK-first exhibition.
V&A Dundee was developed with support from the Scottish Government, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and many trusts, companies and private donors.
The museum was officially opened by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in January 2019.
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