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Red Star Line Museum's success exceeds expectations

11:56 30/10/2013

The Red Star Line Museum, which opened on 28 September on Antwerp’s waterfront, has clocked 26,586 visitors so far, and many of its guided tours are fully booked until the end of the year. The museum recounts the history of the Red Star Line shipping company, which took emigrants from across Europe to the New World in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The museum’s interactive approach, location in the company’s former buildings and use of personal stories have struck a chord with visitors, who have come from as far as the US to learn about this important chapter in the history of world immigration.

After positive reviews in the international media, including The New York Times, Reuters and the BBC, journalists from across the world have continued to visit the museum every week. Numbers of general visitors, meanwhile, have increased every week since the opening a month ago. “The success exceeds our wildest expectations,” enthuses Philip Heylen, Antwerp’s alderman of culture. “Our goal was 100,000 visitors in the first year, but with this tempo, the future looks fantastic!”

Anyone wanting to visit the museum this year should book ahead via the website as many days are already fully booked, particularly weekends. The museum allows people through the doors in half-hour blocks to ensure rooms do not become too crowded and that the experience is rewarding.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw