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King Tut boosts attendance at Children's Museum

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The Children's Museum of Indianapolis on Friday announced it experienced record attendance in 2009, with crowds boosted by a special King Tut exhibit.

The museum counted 1.3 million visits last year, an increase of 270,000, or 26 percent, over 2008.

The special exhibit "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," which opened in June, was partly responsible for the surge. The museum said in a press release that the exhibit fueled a 72-percent increase in school tours. School groups generated 144,843 visits.

The museum did not release overall attendance figures for the exhibit, which charged a separate admission price ranging from $15 to $30.

More families bought memberships in 2009, the museum said, and the average number of visits per household increased from 2.7 times to 3.2 times.

King Tut may have helped sell memberships as well. The museum offered a $149 special that included the regular annual membership, plus a four-ticket pass to the special exhibit.

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