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Thursday, March 3, 2005

i’ll take the gates for $254 million, christo

sometimes it’s hard to quantify the value of art in society. in this case, maybe not so hard.

‘The Gates’ a Boom for New York Economy [ap via abc news, march 3, 2005]

“The Gates” was “a daring labor of love,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg says and the 7,503 pieces of saffron fabric being dismantled this week leave a financial imprint: $254 million spent by visitors to the Central Park installation.

The installation featured a series of door frames or “gates,” hung with fabric, spaced along 23 miles of Central Park’s footpaths. It drew an estimated 4 million visitors to the park, including 1.5 million out-of-towners, between Feb. 12-27. The same period in a typical February usually sees 750,000 visitors.

The $254 million in economic activity includes spending for hotels, restaurants and concessions and cultural institutions, as well as use of subways, buses and taxis, plus shopping and general entertainment. It does not include revenue from visitors who were here on business and would have spent money anyway.

i’m sure there are thousands of great little anecdotes, but that’s not too shabby for… art.

posted by roj at 6:48 pm