The National Gallery wonders if the British Public only turns out for events where you have to pay to visit but ignore the permanent collection which is free to view.
The BBC arts editor wonders if part of this is that the galleries spend heavily on advertising for events but don't for the free collection. When he visited the British Museum he asked UK visitors why they had chosen it over either the National Gallery or Tate.
I was told by nearly all of those to whom I spoke that the British Museum was a more accessible, child-friendly museum, which had a collection that told a rich historical story and related directly to the school curriculum.
Now here is a thing I have never been to either the National Gallery or the Tate but I have been to the British Museum. The thing is I can't explain to you why, it was only a few years ago that I first went to the National Portrait Gallery (next door to the National Gallery). I thoroughly enjoyed it but I still haven't been to the next door National Gallery.
It's not that I don't like art museums..... I have visited many on my overseas trips and enjoyed them.
The National is still on my visit list as is the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge oh and the Gainsborough museum in Sudbury... every time we get a dodgy weekend I think I ought to go but never do. One day!