Attendance at SE1's Imperial War Museum has climbed sharply since admission charges were dropped in December 2001.
New figures show that 44,046 people visited the Imperial War Museum in December 2001 compared to 31,145 in the same period last year.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said: "These figures show what a spectacular success the scrapping of admission charges to our great national collections has been. Clearly, charges were acting as a restraint to many people particularly families. Now everyone has the chance to visit as and when they choose be it for the better part of a day, a lunchtime or just to pop in and see a favourite object or painting. Visiting a national museum, like going to a park or taking a stroll, can once again be one of life's free pleasures."