H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition


Gross Exhibition Revenues In Toronto: 50% Annual Yield On Investment

If we assume the R.O.M.´s official information is more reliable than the estimate by Toronto Globe journalist James Adams, and assume half of the visitors came at the weekend we can set up the following calculation:

134,000                   (total number of visitors)
           19 x               (average entrance price)
Can $ 2,546,000    (total gross revenues)

This would be Euro 1,81 Million or US $ 1,61 Million (currency rates as of 23 December 2001. For other currency conversions, click), in just three months. On a yearly basis, the show would bring Can $ 10 Million or Euro 7,2 Million, allowing for build-up time in other venues and higher visitor rates during summer as negative and positive influences. With these gross revenues, this exhibition would easily surpass the Musée Rodin (400,000 paying visitors x Euro 5 = Euro 2 Million, allowing for 20% visitors under 18 years of age).

Moreover, the show produces revenues or enjoys free services from sponsoring: the Toronto Star presents the exhibition, CBC is a partner, Mediacom, Time and Capital Canada Limited are mentioned as patrons.

According to Maclaren Curator Mary Reid, the figure "between $12-million and $18-million", quoted by the Toronto Globe on 21 December 2001, refers to US Dollars:

About the $12 - 18 million figure. The plaster collection is in fact worth approximately $18 million US which is approximately $30 million Cdn. In addition to the donation of the plasters is a significant financial contribution and also the posthumous cast bronzes - all totalling to
$ 40 million Cdn.

[From: Letter from Mary Reid to the author, 7 Jan. 2002]

This means the figure of  Can $ 40 million Cdn. mentioned in the March 2001 press release is held upright.

In Canada, donations are rewarded with 43 to 47 cents for every dollar over $200, depending on province of residence and level of income. [Source: Toronto Globe, 15 Dec. 2001, p. B 12]. If the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board would accept the highest figure, this donation would cost the Canadian State appr. Can $ 18 million: appr. twice the estimated total gross revenues from exhibition entrance fees on an annualized basis.

Although costs for rent, exhibition design, staff, publicity, security, transport and insurance have to be deducted and venues abroad would want to participate in the surplus, the Canadians indeed seem to been doing "pretty good business" - as stated by Francisco Alvarez for the R.O.M. Compared to these figures, the "return-on-assets"-ratio in Paris is poor - assuming the French collection with over 8,000 sculpture items listed in the Joconde Database, is worth at least 200 times more than the donated works exhibited in Toronto.

Viewing these figures, Jacques Vilain should consider setting up a branch in Toronto.




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