With its grand buildings, European architecture and Parisian-style café culture, Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is often referred to as the Paris of Latin America. But the comparison doesn't stop here. A former study friend of mine , - half American, half Mexican, - is about to publish a book "111 Museums in Paris". A recent study shows that Buenos Aires ( the federal capital that is ), - between public and private, dependent on the national, provincial or city governments- has over 160 museums in the Federal Capital. That number is still growing. Compared to all other large cities in South America, Buenos Aires is therefore the one with the largest number of museums in its territory. Buenos Aires is the world capital for bookstores and theaters, as no other city hosts that many per capita as Buenos Aires does. Though exact comparative numbers are hard to get, I would dare to bet that the same goes for its museums. Paris might have a lot of museums, Buenos Aires is very likely to beat that number per capita. No wonder that the city of Buenos Aires seeks to position itself as a prime destination for museums, not only for the region, but on a global scale too. An investigation, led by the leading newspaper La Nación, carried out during January and February 2017 in the city of Buenos Aires, took 18 museums as its axis, in which 504 national and foreign visitors were interviewed. The diagnosis was completed based on the analysis of four international cases -those from the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Science Museum in London, the Del Barro Museum in Paraguay and the Australian Center form the Moving Image- and interviews with influencers on the subject. The results outlined a profile of museum attendees mainly under 30 years of age (40%), between 31 and 50, 33% and over 50, 26%; with a trend where men are two points higher than women (51% against 49%). Of those surveyed in that period, only 33% were Argentine; 28% from Latin America (11% from Brazil and the rest from Spanish-speaking countries); 22% from Europe and 13% from North America (United States and Canada). The pollsters observed that Latin Americans are younger than North Americans and that the levels of exceeding expectations are, in their opinion, very high. There might not be a more recent study on the subject, but I can assure these numbers have not changed. Buenos Aires museums attract a young crowd, younger than the average age of museum visitors in Europe. If I had the time, I could & would visit a museum, a different one every other days. By the end of the year, I might discover a new museum, one I've never heard mentioning before. Aside from showcasing their permanent collection, temporary exhibitions in most museums abound. So by the end of the year, I'd better be prepared to start all over again. Art in Buenos Aires is here and everywhere, not just in its museums, but in its galleries, on the streets, on its walls, and even on your wine label too. Walk along with me !
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