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SLIDESHOW: Attracting one million visitors to The Hepworth Wakefield is a piece of cake

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An Australian woman got the surprise of her life when she received tasty treats from a TV baker during a visit to an art gallery.

Pauline Mackiewicz, from Sydney, was visiting friends in the city when she decided to pop into The Hepworth Wakefield yesterday.

But unknown to her she became the gallery’s one millionth visitor and was presented with prizes to mark the occasion.

And as part of the milestone Frances Quinn, winner of TV’s Great British Bake Off 2013, created a Barbara Hepworth inspired millionaire’s shortbread.

Mrs Mackiewicz said: “I feel very privileged to be chosen as the millionth visitor, it was so unexpected and a little overwhelming.

“It’s my first visit to the gallery and what a stunning building it is. I have loved seeing the Hepworth plasters and that amazing view over the weir. And thanks to my friends from London and Wakefield who brought me here.”

She received limited edition prints, an exclusive Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle Experience, including tours of Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a Yorkshire hamper and an overnight stay in a top Leeds hotel.

Since opening in May 2011, The Hepworth Wakefield has exceeded expectations, achieving its original annual target of 150,000 visitors per year in the first five weeks of opening. The figures are worked out by using an electronic door counter,

The gallery has also generated an estimated £16m for the local economy, while helping to regeneration the waterfront.

Director Simon Wallis said: “Reaching the one million milestone is a very special moment for the whole of the team, our volunteers and supporters.

“It’s wonderful to see the gallery celebrating this landmark after only two and a half years.”

Celebrations will continue at the gallery until Sunday, with more surprise visitor giveaways.

 

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