The Louvre in Paris has topped a list of the world's most visited art museums. The annual survey of galleries and attendance was taken by the "Art Newspaper". Its results put the Louvre in the top spot with around 9.7 million visitors in 2012. That was a jump of over a million from the previous year. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art was the second most visited venue, with three London museums filling the third, fourth and fifth positions. The most popular exhibition of the year was the Dutch Old Masters at Tokyo's Metropolitan Art Museum, which attracted over 10,000 art lovers a day. The continuing popularity of the Louvre was boosted last year by the opening of its new wing dedicated to Islamic art.
The survey showed that while traditional art was popular in Japan, contemporary and modern art dominated the top exhibitions in Europe. It also highlighted Brazil as an up-and-coming destination for art. The newspaper said: "The appetite of Brazilians for exhibitions is remarkable…especially for the non-charging shows organised by the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. The exhibition halls in its Rio de Janeiro space were crowded thanks to an ambitious visual history of the Amazon." The publication also noted how, "the spiritual power of artifacts" proved popular. Japan's Shoso-in temple exhibition drew over 14,240 visitors a day, "to venerate as well as admire a selection of temple treasures".