Big bucks brought in from Picasso exhibit

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In the day ahead, we are expecting to learn the exact economic impact of the Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The numbers are predicted to be even bigger than museum authorities originally thought.

According to a study scheduled to be released Thursday, the Picasso exhibit pumped nearly $29 million into the local and state economy.

The initial estimates were $25 million.

The Picasso exhibit, which ran from February 19 to May 15, brought in more than 230,000 visitors to the museum — and that's a record number for a single exhibit.

About 85 percent of those visitors were from Virginia. The rest came from other states and even other countries.

The economic study we are expecting to see looks at everything from food and lodging to transportation.

The museum's director says even more than the money, the biggest long-term impact here is that the exhibit helped put Richmond on the map as a cultural destination.

The museum's next big exhibit — Faberge — opens this Saturday.

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