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Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art welcomes its six millionth visitor

The six millionth visitor to Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art has just crossed the threshold to be given a special welcome

Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale with Anna Macrae and Paul Grace, one of whom was the venue's six millionth visitor
Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale with Anna Macrae and Paul Grace, one of whom was the venue's six millionth visitor

Two very special visitors crossed the threshold of Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Anna Macrae and Paul Grace were hailed jointly as the six millionth visitor to the art venue which opened just after midnight on July 13, 2002, after a long queue had formed outside.

There was no quibbling over who exactly entered the doors first as Baltic director Godfrey Worsdale greeted the pair, who are from Gateshead.

Mr Worsdale said: “We are delighted to welcome Anna and Paul as our six millionth visitors.

“Whoever might have imagined that, little over a decade after Baltic was launched, we would have experienced such staggering audiences for our programmes of contemporary art.

“Over the years, Baltic has shown 375 artists from over 50 different nations and has become a well known and respected gallery around the world.

“However, it is so important that Baltic has also become such a recognisable part of cultural life here in the North East. I would like to thank all our visitors for their fantastic support.”

Paul Grace and Anna Macrae, from Gateshead, one of whom was the six millionth
Paul Grace and Anna Macrae, from Gateshead, one of whom was the six millionth

Not all visitors, however, will receive vouchers for the Baltic shop, afternoon tea at the Six rooftop restaurant and a bottle of Champagne.

“We’re shocked and dazed,” said the special couple as they were handed their unexpected prizes.

“We’ve only recently moved to Gateshead but we’ve been to Baltic a few times and we’ll definitely keep coming back.”

Baltic’s next audience-swelling exhibition, featuring the work of the late American artist Jason Rhoades, opens on March 6.

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