Art Museums – The Louvre Limits Visitors In Stunning Move

The Louvre in Paris, one of the world’s most famous and well-attended art museums, is taking unprecedented steps in the new year. The museum will now limit the number of daily visitors to 30,000 in total. This move, according to the official release from museum officials, is being done “in order to facilitate a comfortable visit and ensure optimal working conditions for museum staff.”

Prior to the pandemic, the Louvre would generally welcome as many as 45,000 visitors or more each day, according to the Art Newspaper. When the Louvre reopened in July 2020 after a 16-week closure due to Covid-w9 related shutdown and limits, it did not officially limit how many people could enter.

There was an overall drop in attendance because of the ongoing pandemic and international travel restrictions. But it seems the time has come, and the museum is taking steps to actively limit attendance and control how many people enter the Louvre on a daily basis. It is something many other art museums around the world are implementing in one way or another.

Reasons for the Decision and the Timing of it All

The museum quietly began talking about officially limiting attendance levels back in June 2022. The decision was made shortly after the announcement that Laurence des Cars would be its next president-director of facility operations. She officially took over on September 1, 2022 and began addressing the plans for changes to the museum’s facilities, operations, hours, and visitorship. Art museums, among others, have had trouble recovering and balancing the need to fill maximum capacity while also keeping visitors safe and comfortable.

In a statement released on the official website for The Louvre, des Car said, “The extremely positive figures for 2022 are tremendously encouraging for all our staff. I hope that visitors enjoy spending time at the Musée du Louvre, particularly those discovering the museum for the first time, who represent 60% of them. We are working ever harder to improve visiting conditions and to continue to offer a programme of great quality and a unique array of live performances resonating with what’s on at the museum.”

The goal of the change to admittance protocols for this and other art museums in the country is being implemented to improve the experience for visitors, offer more opportunities for native local French residents, as well as offering selected hours for those with less-traditional working hours.

Art Museums of France- the Louvre

Changes a Long Time Coming for Art Museums in General

As one of the leading examples of what people think of when they think of art museums around the world, the Louvre has long been a popular destination for tourists. Even as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic reached its height, the appeal of art still drew people to the museum whenever it was opened. Last year, it welcomed 7.8 million visitors, up 120 percent from 2021’s figures but still down 19 percent from its peak of 9.6 million in 2019.

According to records, the ongoing travel restrictions and health concerns surrounding the pandemic is likely the cause for the overall decrease in attendance last year. Though there is an improvement in numbers, even though it has not reached pre-pandemic levels, officials felt now was the best time to begin implementing visitor caps.

With the new hours of operations and attendance limitations, the Louvre, which is closed each Tuesday and on three public holidays, can welcome a maximum of 9.3 million visitors in 2023. It is a change, and change is not always easy or welcomed, but for art museums like the Louvre, it may well become the new normal in a post-pandemic world.

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