While Gripebox was taking its recent break, Judith Dobrzynski‘s Real Clear Arts blog reported the likelihood that the Metropolitan Museum of Art will rank only fifth among the world’s top museums in total visitors in 2009 with 4.8 million art-lovers passing through its turnstiles compared to 8.5 million at the Louvre in Paris, 5.6 million at London’s British Musem, and about 4.9 million at both its great rival, the National Gallery in Washington, and the Tate Modern, also in London. With budget cuts limiting his options and ability to mount the blockbusters that draw crowds and revenue, this puts new Met director “Tapestry Tom” Campbell in a bind. Hopefully he can summon the spirit of his predecessor, the recently-departed Tom Hoving, and create more excitement than he did in his rookie year. Maybe it’s time he started licking paintings instead of letting visitors poke holes in them.