Telefónica renews its commitment as Benefactor sponsor of the Museo del Prado, coinciding with the start of the new 7-days-a-week opening hours

Plácido Arango, President of the Museum’s Royal Board of Trustees; José Ignacio Wert, the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture and César Alierta, President of Telefónica

Plácido Arango, President of the Museum’s Royal Board of Trustees; José Ignacio Wert, the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture and César Alierta, President of Telefónica

    The Spanish telephone company led by César Alierta today renewed its commitment to continue as a Benefactor of the Prado’s Visitor Attention Programme during the first event at the institution attended by the new Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert. Mr Wert’s presence was intended to emphasise his awareness of the importance of the support given to the world of culture by civil society. In addition, the Minister was present on the first day of the Museum’s new 7-days-a-week opening hours.

    Monday 16 January 2012

    José Ignacio Wert, the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, today presided over the signing of an agreement through which Telefónica is renewing its sponsorship of the Museo del Prado for another four years. On his arrival at the Museum and before the signing took place, the new Minister made a brief tour of some of the galleries on the principal floor, which were open to the public today for the first time on a Monday. He was accompanied by Plácido Arango, President of the Museum’s Royal Board of Trustees, César Alierta, President of Telefónica, and Miguel Zugaza, the Museum’s Director.

    Telefónica’s renewal of its commitment as sponsor of the Prado’s Visitor Attention programme is particularly significant today, when the Museum has increased its opening hours to every day of the year with the exception of three major public holidays. This initiative, which is a direct response to the general growth in interest in the Museum’s collections and activities that has manifested itself over the last few years in a marked rise in visitors, starting from the time of the inauguration of the Prado’s extension in October 2007, can be directly associated with the improvements and increase in visitor services that have been made over this period, the implementation of which has been possible thanks to Telefónica. Since 2007, more than 13 million visitors have directly benefited from the Visitor Attention service. More than 2.9 million of them visited the Museum last year, which was the year that saw a record number of visitors to the Museo del Prado.

    Telefónica’s support, which also extends to “virtual” visits to the Museum, has allowed for the setting up of a new institutional website, which has already become an important channel for the dissemination and promotion of the Museum’s collections and activities. Launched in October 2007, during the following year the number of visits to the site totalled 2.4 million, a figure approximating the number of actual visits to the Museum, while the following year they far succeeded that number with almost 4 million online visits, reaching around 4.2 million visits in 2010 and 2011. According to data published in www.museum-analytics.org, in 2011 the Museo del Prado’s website was the 9th worldwide in terms of number of visits among all the museums monitored by Museum Analytics (more than 3,000). Museum Analytics is a page that compiles and shares statistical information on museums at worldwide level, monitoring visits to their websites as well as to their accounts on the social networks (FB and TW).

    The ongoing expansion of the Prado’s website since its complete updating in October 2007 includes the publication of innovative multimedia features including a large amount of audiovisual content, allowing the Museum to promote other means of communication on the internet, making its presence felt and encouraging the interest of numerous followers on the various social networks: Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and more recently Google+. In the case of its Facebook and Twitter accounts, which were the two networks that the Museum first joined in 2009, the Prado has now positioned itself as the Spanish museum with the largest number of followers on these two sites and one of the most followed at European level, in addition to generating an important volume of interactions. To offer a recent example, the first weekly report issued by Museum Analytics this year cited the Prado and the Louvre’s Facebook accounts as those among all museums worldwide on which an item had been shared on most occasions.

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