Louvre claims 'world record' visitor number for museums
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Louvre claims 'world record' visitor number for museums

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Although there are more visitors, everyone can explore The Louvre at their own pace
– Jean-Luc Martinez

The Louvre in Paris saw a record-breaking year in 2018, posting what it says are the highest ever annual visitor numbers for any museum.

There were 10.2 million visitors in 2018 – an increase of 25 per cent on 2017. In a statement, museum officials said “no other museum in the world has ever equalled this figure”.

The museum cited a recovery of tourism in France, and especially Paris, for the upturn, after the negative impact of severe terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016, such as those at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan music venue. In 2016, the museum registered just 7.4 million visitors.

Another significant factor in 2018’s visitor growth was the museum’s flagship exhibition, celebrating the work of French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix, while interest in the Louvre around the world has been heightened by the success of the Louvre Abu Dhabi (which drew one million visitors during its first year), and by a music video by Beyoncé and JAY-Z which paid tribute to some of the museum’s greatest artworks.

Around three in four of the museum’s visitors in 2018 were from outside of France, while numbers of French visitors also increased sharply upon 2017 figures. There were also more than half a million school visitors, which the Louvre attributes partly to its arts and culture education policy. More than half of all visitors were under 30 years old.

For 2019, the museum said it is launching free and festive new events called “Saturday Night Openings”, to be held on the first Saturday of every month. The purpose of these is to make it easier for everyone – but especially local people – to visit the Louvre “in the best possible conditions”.

Improving visitor conditions has been a priority, according to the museum’s president-director Jean-Luc Martinez, who said: “The recent changes we have made and are continuing to implement (clearer signage, translation of texts, etc.) have improved the quality of visitor reception. The renovation of the infrastructures under the Pyramid and the introduction of time-slot tickets have helped us level out visitor numbers throughout the year and reduce ticket lines outside the museum.

“So although there are more visitors, everyone can explore the Louvre at their own pace and appreciate the artworks to their heart’s content.”

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The Louvre in Paris experienced a record-breaking year in 2018, posting what it says are the highest ever annual visitor numbers for any museum. There were 10.2 million visitors in 2018 – an increase of 25 per cent on 2017. It said “no other museum in the world has ever equaled this figure”.
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