Closed on Sunday November 24th, the 55th International Art Exhibition – Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), the Biennale Arte 2013 has reached over 475.000 visitors.

55th International Art Exhibition
Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace)

June 1 – November 24, 2013

The Venice Biennale states to have exceeded 475.000 visitors with an increase of 8% (440,000 the total figure in 2011). 28.386 people have visited the exhibition during the last week of October that exceeded the 20.424 visitors of the preview days. Young people and students represented 31,75% of the total visitors. The students who visited the Exhibition in groups represented 21% of the public. Attention from the media: over 7.000 journalists accredited (+ 56% compared to 2011).

“This chapter has come to a close with very positive quantitative and qualitative results” – has stated the President of the Venice Biennale Paolo Baratta. “Positive quantitative results are useful, firstly, because they allow us to satisfy those who believe that the task of cultural institutions is increasing hotel reservations—and this was most certainly the case. However, these results are also a sign of a highly significant evolution in terms of quality, our primary concern. Some time ago we began a specific research with regard to the people visiting la Biennale to contribute to the critical and cultural enrichment and sophistication of increasingly broad groups of visitors and young people.”

“One element stands out, adds Baratta: those who still only attend la Biennale’s more social Vernissage and draw false conclusions, must now acknowledge that we recorded more visitors in three weeks in October than in the opening week. After the opening five days of the exhibition, the yachts all departed and the following six months were characterized by the presence of the backpack crowd. Many of those who came for the pre-opening returned to visit a second and third time; this is another important element, which makes our glorious Vernissage no longer the paradise but the purgatory of super experts in the field.”

La Biennale is a research laboratory – concludes Baratta. It is thus important that attendance records were reached without giving in to the clamour and approximations typical of self-celebrating events.”

On his side, curator Massimiliano Gioni said: The Encyclopedic Palace is an exhibition that tells the impossible desire of knowing and seeing everything: it’s an exhibition that collect the adventures, tales and the histories of many individuals that – often in solitude – have tried to create a code, an image of the world, that could capture its richness. Many of them – like Marino Auriti from whom, for the title of this edition of the Biennale, we have borrowed the title of his work – have failed to reach their dreams because they worked in solitude. I had the luck to work with a talented team, with a great institution, with brilliant colleagues and collaborators, with the support of many generous donors, and with so many artists who have accepted the invitation to exhibit at the Biennale with great enthusiasm and generosity. Therefore, if I was able to build this imaginary museum we call Biennale, this year’s Palazzo Enciclopedico (Encyclopedic Palace), I owe it to so many talented fellow adventurers who helped me throughout this journey.” “The success of visitors of this edition – ends Gioni – shows that art is something we do together and is a part of many people’s lives.”

The numbers of the Exhibition

  • 161 artists from 38 countries
  • 88 National Participations
  • 10 countries participating for the first time: Angola, Bahamas, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, Maldives, Paraguay, Tuvalu and the Holy See.
  • 4 countries hosted in the new pavilions restored by the Biennale in the Sale d’Armi at the Arsenale: the Holy See, Argentina, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.
  • 47 Collateral Events (they were 37 in 2011) promoted by international organizations and institutions held in different locations in Venice.

The Promotional Projects


The program of Meetings on Art organized by the Biennale during the entire period of the exhibition, were well attended. Confirmed the great interest for the Second International Conference “Archives and Exhibitions”: planned as part of the 55th International Art Exhibition, the Conference was organized by the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts, confirming one of the underlying themes of an organization such as the Biennale.

The Meetings on Art program ended on Sunday November 24th at 2:00 pm at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale. President Paolo Baratta and curator Massimiliano Gioni discussed the theme “Museums and Biennales” with Cristiana Collu, Alfredo Cramerotti, Bice Curiger, Abdellah Karroum, Achille Bonito Oliva and Vicente Todolí.


The project was dedicated to Universities and Academies of Fine Arts, and to institutions that develop research and training in the arts and in related fields. The aim of the initiative was to facilitate the visit of the exhibition for groups of at least 50 students and teachers who are assisted in organizing the trip and during your stay in Venice and arrange seminars in a space made available for free from the Biennale.

39 Universities jointed the project this year (+26% compared to 2011). With 9 Italian Universities and 30 Foreign Universities from 4 continents, in particular 6 from Germany, 6 from Great Britain and 6 from USA. 1.221 university students from all over the world included the visit at the Biennale Arte 2013 in their educational curriculum and considered the Biennale as a place for study and research. Overall were organized by the participating Universities 28 seminars.


49.659 (2.483 groups) is the total number of participants in the educational activities and in the guided tours, with a 17% increase over 2011.

In particular: 31.565 (+19% compared to 2011) young people and students participated in the educational activities, including 1.578 groups. 18.094 (+14% over 2011) is the number of adults and visitors organized in groups who participated in the guided tours. 26 educational specialists from la Biennale who accompanied the visitors through the two exhibition venues.



A total of 7.110 journalists visited the exhibition, including 4.655 from the foreign press and 2.455 from the Italian press (compared to 4.554in 2011, of which 3.012 were from the international press and 1.542 from the Italian press) with a 56% increase.

The press coverage totalized to 3.681 articles in print and on the major websites compared to 3.385 in the past editions (an increase of 8,7%). The television stations accredited during the exhibition totaled 332, including 247 foreign stations and 85 Italian. The 55thExhibition was also covered by over 90 reports on newscasts and national radio.


The Biennale institutional website www.labiennale.org was seen over the duration of the exhibition by 1.387.238 unique visitors. The Biennale Facebook page: 180.008 Likes till November 23rd. Twitter: 175.694 followers till November 23rd.

For further information

Press Office Visual Art, la Biennale di Venezia. Tel. +39 041 5218 849 infoartivisive@labiennale.org

Read more about Venice Biennale