Spain’s Prado Museum marks the start of a new era on Monday, when it will begin opening seven days a week and on Good Friday, allowing visitors to enjoy its world famous collection an additional 53 days a year and making it the European museum with the most operating hours at 3,542 annually.
The museum will now be closed only on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and May 1 in an effort to generate more revenue and reduce its dependence on public funds.
Museum officials hope the additional revenues will make up for funding cuts in the 2010-2013 Austerity Plan implemented by the government, allowing the Prado to cover 60 percent of its budget with its own resources, up between 10 percent and 15 percent from the prior period.
The Prado Museum has embarked on a number of major projects since Miguel Zugaza took its reins 10 years ago.
The museum completed an ambitious expansion and modernization project in October 2007, when the new galleries designed by Rafael Moneo were inaugurated.
The Prado is joining a select group of great international museums, including Britain’s Tate Modern and British Museum, the Netherlands’ Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and Washington’s National Gallery of Art, that are open every day.