Almost 50,000 visitors (exactly 48,924) made use of free admission, which the National Gallery in Prague introduced for children and young people up to 18 and students up to 26 in cooperation with Komerční banka, between April 2015 (when the project was launched) and December 2015. Average monthly visitor numbers in the last three quarters of 2015 increased by 16% compared with the first quarter of 2015 (when children, young people and students still paid the admission fee), which bears out the significant increase in interest in permanent displays. In the light of the good results, Komerční banka and the National Gallery in Prague have agreed to extend the free admission project to 31 August 2016.

“At the beginning of our cooperation with the National Gallery in Prague we decided that we wanted to increase the number of young visitors, and we have been successful as the current statistics indicate. I am glad that we can actively help the young generation in the Czech Republic to be more culture-oriented and educated,” added Albert Le Dirac’h, Komerční banka Chairman and CEO.

“The rise in the number of young visitors and the extension of free admission for them to this year is one of our greatest achievements last year thanks to our general partner, Komerční banka. I am absolutely delighted to see mainly young people visiting the National Gallery in their leisure time, without teachers. I am confident that also thanks to this scheme, we will progressively carry out our strategic plan of introducing zero admission to permanent displays for all visitors and of transforming our art gallery into a vibrant and creative space,”said Jiří Fajt, General Director of the National Gallery in Prague.

The National Gallery in Prague opened its permanent displays to children and young people up to 18 and students up to 26 completely for free on 1 April 2015. The long-term plan envisaging free admission for young generations has been carried out in cooperation with Komerční banka, which will pay for these visitors’ admission. The zero admission applies to both Czech and international visitors to the National Gallery in Prague.

While up until last April, school groups made up most of the young visitors, interest in individual visits has increased significantly since the introduction of free admission. The number of young international visitors has also increased significantly.

Komerční banka has been a partner of institutions, projects and events of society-wide importance for many years. It focuses on culture, non-professional sport and education. Support for Czech culture is the main area of the bank’s sponsorship. Since 2006, it has donated some CZK 300 million to this area. Komerční banka has been the general partner of the National Theatre, the most important Czech theatrical institution, for more than ten years. The bank has been supporting the French Film Festival for the same time. Since 2014, it has also been a partner of the National Gallery in Prague.