25 Jan 2012

Prado now open longer after budget cuts

12:06 pm on 25 January 2012

The Prado museum in Madrid is now open seven days a week to offset the pain of government budget cuts.

Despite a record 2.9 million visitors in 2011, a government subsidy for the museum is being cut by 6 million euro ($US7.75 million).

The Prado currently has a 42 million euro annual budget, about half of which came from subsidies. That figure will now fall to 30% of the total budget until 2013, forcing the museum to make up for the shortfall.

Director Miguel Zugaza said the new hours are expected to generate an extra 1.5 million euros. Corporate sponsors already contribute 6 million euros per year.

Collections at the museum include Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Goya and Diego Velazquez.