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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Japanese museums dominated a new table of the world's top art exhibitions in 2009, according to a survey in The Art Newspaper.
Ranked by daily entries as opposed to overall visitors, Tokyo National Museum's "Ashura" exhibition, featuring one of the nation's most famous Buddhist statues and other treasures from the Kohfukuji temple, topped the list.
It attracted 15,960 people per day, and 946,172 overall, ahead of Nara National Museum's "61st Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures," which boasted a daily attendance figure of 14,965.
Two more Tokyo shows ranked third and fourth -- Tokyo National Museum's "Treasures of the Imperial Collections" (9,473) and the National Museum of Western Art's "17th Century Painting from the Louvre" (9,267).
French shows were next in the rankings, with Musee Quai Branly's "2nd Photoquai Biennale" attracting 7,868 people each day, followed by Grand Palais' "Picasso and the Masters" (7,270) and Center Pompidou's "Kandinsky" (6,553).
"Globally Japan's museums remain in a league of their own when it comes to organizing blockbuster exhibitions," The Art Newspaper said. "As in 2008, the average visitor-per-day statistics from Japan are staggering."
New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) boasted seven of the top 16 shows last year, the newspaper added.
Following is a list of the top 10 art shows last year, including venue, title, daily attendance and overall attendance:
1. Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo/Ashura and Masterpieces from Kohfukuji/15,960/946,172
2. Nara National Museum, Nara/61st Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures/14,965/299,294
3. Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo/Treasures of the Imperial Collections/9,473/447,944
4. National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo/17th-century Painting from the Louvre/9,267/851,256
5. Musee Quai Branly, Paris/2nd Photoquai Biennale/7,868/419,256
6. Grand Palais, Paris/Picasso and the Masters/7,270/783,352
7. Center Pompidou, Paris/Kandinsky/6,553 703,000
8. Museum of Modern Art, New York/Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting/6,299/377,068
9. Museum of Modern Art, New York/Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out/6,186/391,476
10. National Art Center, Tokyo/Treasures of the Habsburg Monarchy/5,609/390,219.
Source: The Art Newspaper
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato