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Moments exhibition in Bury St Edmunds at Moyse's Hall Museum featuring works by Banksy, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin brings in around £350,000 to town



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A Bury St Edmunds art exhibition which may have contributed to Banksy’s ‘Great British Spraycation’ across East Anglia could have brought in as much as £350,000 to the town.

West Suffolk Council has said more than 20,000 people attended the Moments exhibition at Moyse’s Hall Museum, with some coming from as far away as Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cornwall, Cumbria and the Isle of Wight.

Original artwork by international artists such as Banksy – the world’s most mysterious street artist – Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Rachel List, Pure Evil and My Dog Sighs were on display at the Cornhill venue.

Heritage operations manager Lance Alexander and heritage officer Dan Clarke inside the Moments Exhibition in Moyse’s Hall Museum. Picture by Mecha Morton
Heritage operations manager Lance Alexander and heritage officer Dan Clarke inside the Moments Exhibition in Moyse’s Hall Museum. Picture by Mecha Morton

International art dealer John Brandler, of Essex-based Brandler Galleries, which supplied the majority of the exhibition’s artwork, said: “I am delighted the exhibition has attracted people from far and wide and the feedback from exhibition visitors has been delightful.

“To attract more than 20,000 visitors to the exhibition is a monumental achievement, particularly when you take into account the marketing campaign for the exhibition had to begin during lockdown without knowing if and when the exhibition would go ahead.”

With the success of the exhibition, the council is now working with City Culture Peterborough to present the exhibition in the city, with the potential for it to then tour the UK in 2022.

Cllr Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture at West Suffolk Council, said: “It has been fantastic for West Suffolk to be the first in the country to create and host the Moments Exhibition and the ticket sales show that it has brought in people from far and wide to see the spectacular art on display.

"It has put money into the local economy and caused huge excitement with Banksy artwork – and some imitations – popping up all across East Anglia.

It has been great to welcome the brilliant Rachel List to the exhibition – her artwork captured the thoughts of a nation in its thanks to the wonderful work of the NHS doctors and nurses, helping people through the Covid pandemic.

"We are delighted with the success of the exhibition and wish it all the best as it begins what could become its UK tour."

Ticket sales for the exhibition showed 42 per cent of visitors came from outside of Suffolk, which the town’s tourism brand, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, has said helped bring a strong economic summer.

Sue Warren, Bury and Beyond’s brand and marketing manager, said: “Speaking to our accommodation providers, both in and around the town, there is no doubt that the Moments exhibition contributed to the bumper summer season we have had here in Bury St Edmunds.

“This was a high quality and unique exhibition outside of London which featured world renowned artists and, despite the challenges of this year, attracted people from outside the area to visit Bury St Edmunds.

“Events of this nature often attract repeat visitors when they see all what the town has to offer first-hand. I congratulate the team on what was a first-class exhibition.”

West Suffolk Council hopes to stage another exhibition of international artists in 2023.

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