Only days left to see Picasso in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We're in the home stretch. There are only 10 days left to see Picasso in Richmond, and the exhibit is already breaking records.

These paintings span 8 decades of Picasso's career and they are drawing people to Richmond from all 50 states and dozens of countries from around the world. The lines are long and filled with people from all over.

"My girlfriend came up from D.C. so we're just making it a day of it today," Sandy Yehil.

Tom Lamartina drove up from Lynchburg, "This is the only place on the East Coast to find it so we're like, wow we're going to come and see it."

And they're running out of time.

"It's almost over so I knew I had to get in here quickly," said Charlene Vallandingham.

Picasso packs up and leaves town in just over a week.

"Incredible. I mean what an opportunity for Richmond. What a coup," said Wallace Adams-Riley of Richmond.

So far, more than 192,000 have passed through the halls for a glimpse of nearly 200 pieces from Picasso's personal collection.

"And we've got 10 more days of the exhibition and we're getting something like 4, 5, 6 thousand people a day," said Museum Director Alex Nyerges.

Restaurants have been offering discounts, even replicating pieces of the collection on chalkboards and in window displays. Area hotels have sold more than a thousand hotel rooms. The museum has now has a record 37,000 members. Its director says Picasso's impact has surpassed even his wildest dreams.

"The initial impact was estimated at 30 to 40 million dollars. We've seen visitors from every state from 37 different foreign countries. we have people coming from everywhere to see Picasso right here in Richmond," he said.

The museum is conducting a study to figure out exactly how much money was spent in here because of Picasso. And it's already lined up its next event... Faberge is on the way.

"It's going to be Faberge 500 works by the greatest jeweler of all time," said Nyerges.

The last day to see Picasso is Sunday May 15th. The museum will actually be open that Friday and Saturday until midnight to accommodate all the procrastinators out there.

The Faberge exhibit starts July 9th and lasts 3 months. The study on the financial impact of Picasso will be ready by June.

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