The number of visits by foreigners to museums in Bulgaria increased by 271 000 in 2016, a rise of close to 37 per cent compared with the year before, the National Statistical Institute said on May 22.

At the end of 2016, there were 195 functioning museums in Bulgaria registered according to the Cultural Heritage Act.

Of these, 88 were ?general? museums and 107 specialist museums, including art galleries, the NSI said.

The Archaeological Museum in Sofia. Photo: Imanuel Marcus.

National Museum of Military History, Sofia. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

History Museum, Kurdjali, southern Bulgaria. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

House museum, Plovdiv. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer

In all, visits to museums in Bulgaria in 2016 added up to 5 230 000, an increase of 9.8 per cent over 2015.

About a quarter of all visits were on days when admission was free, the institute said.

In 2016 the total revenue of museums in Bulgaria added up to more than 56.3 million leva (about 28.7 million euro), an increase of 12.5 per cent compared with 2015.

More than three-quarters of this revenue came from state subsidies, just less than 14 per cent from visits, and 1.3 per cent from European Union programmes and projects.

In 2016, a total of 3150 people were employed by museums in Bulgaria, an increase of 4.3 per cent compared with 2015, the NSI said.

(Main photo, the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

/Panorama

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