Louvre Paris is historically the world’s most visited cultural institution. Last year, the museum reported attendance of 7.8 million. It is still down 19 percent from the pre-pandemic 2019, but a healthy 170-percent increase over 2021. Also, the museum staff decided to cap daily admissions at 30,000 visitors.
Long Lines in Louvre Paris, Especially Near Mona Lisa
The museum struggled for years to address over attendance and long lines near masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa. This happened prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects. Now, the numbers are starting to return to their pre-pandemic levels. Pre-pandemic, the French landmark welcomed up to 45,000 visitors a day.
The cap is at 30,000 guests “in order to facilitate a comfortable visit and ensure optimal working conditions for museum staff”, read a recently issued announcement. Around 7.8 million people visited The Louvre in 2022. This shows an increase of more than 170% compared to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
That number is down 19% from 2019, before the pandemic began. Travel limitations had a huge impact on the first part of 2022. In June 2022, the museum took a covert decision to restrict the number of daily visitors. This occurred after the declaration that Laurence des Cars would be the next president and director.
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In the statement, des Car said, “The extremely positive figures for 2022 are tremendously encouraging for all our staff. We are also working ever harder to improve visiting conditions, and to continue to offer a program of great quality. Also, a unique array of live performances resonating with what’s on at the museum.”
Limiting the Number Of Visitors Can Cause the Risk of Alienation
If it reaches full capacity each day it’s open, then the maximum number of visitors the museum can reach this year is 9.3 million, still 300,000 fewer than 2019. The museum closes on Tuesday and on three public holidays.
Cultural analysts claimed the Louvre’s choice to deter tourists was probably motivated by one notably important 16th-century Italian lady. This comes as many museums across the world struggle to attract new visitors.
Guillaume Kientz, who is currently the director of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York, after serving nine years as the Louvre’s curator of Spanish and Latin American art, countered that limiting the number of visitors daily ran the risk of alienating people by making visits to the Louvre too difficult. But he added that given the congestion and occasionally endless queues at the museum entrance, which is near to the I.M. Pei’s renowned Pyramid, it might be required.