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Visitor numbers down by 2 million at Smithsonian since October due to government closures

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WASHINGTON - Smithsonian officials say visitation is down at the museum complex this year due to the government shutdown and closures due to winter weather.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Monday that visitation is down by about 2 million visitors since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2013. He says about half of the decline is due to the federal government shutdown last October.

Clough says visitor numbers are also down for the 2014 calendar year. He says that's because there were fewer visitors during the winter months. The federal government was closed several days due to snow.

Clough says visitor numbers have rebounded to normal levels in the spring and early summer tourism season this year.

Last year, the Smithsonian counted about 30 million visits to its museums.

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