Not only the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, but he just beat a record of attendance. “For the first time in its history, and I think for the first time in the history of museums, more than ten million visitors have frequented the Louvre in 2018”, said Thursday at the AFP Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the parisian museum.

With 10.2 million visitors, the Louvre is thus an increase of 25% compared to 2017 (8.1 million visitors) and is beating its own attendance record ($9.7 million in 2012). In 2017, the establishment was spurred on by the national Museum of China with 8 million entries, followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city (7.3 million).

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according To Jean-Luc Martinez, the record is carried by the recovery of international tourism to Paris” after a drop in attendance of 30% in recent years because of the attacks. It can be explained in part, by the work these last two years that have allowed us to increase the capacity of the museum.

The proposed new services have attracted the visitors

“It has created a new cloakroom, a new ticket office, a new home group inaugurated last year, enabling us to welcome best and more”, explains the president and ceo. The whole of the works have cost nearly 60 million euros, funded in large part by the money paid in the framework of the agreement with the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened it for more than a year, he says. The introduction of online sales has also reduced the waiting time, appealing more visitors and spreading the attendance on the day.

Another reason that could partly explain this unreleased hit: the clip of the song going apeshit shot last summer by the superstars in american Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the halls of the museum, which has generated nearly 150 million views on the internet. “It is obvious that the year 2018 has been a remarkable year for the international reputation of the Louvre museum, has assured Jean-Luc Martinez to our colleagues of France Info . The clip of Beyoncé as the opening of the museum of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi was that we talked a lot about the Louvre everywhere in the world. And one of the consequences is the spectacular recovery of the attendance of the museum for the year 2018″.

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the Americans are The foreign visitors the most numerous, in front of the Chinese

foreigners make up nearly three-quarters of the visitors, but the French remain the largest nationality (2.5 million, or 25% of the total). Among them, 565.000 students. “The public becomes familiar with the Louvre, because after the attacks, one of the first consequences was the limitation of the school visits,” notes the director.

Among the foreigners, Americans continue to be in the lead with nearly 1.5 million visitors. “Often the Louvre is a “major american museum” by his attendance, it is a particular love,” explains Jean-Luc Martinez. In the second position, the Chinese (almost one million), the new darlings of european tourism. “It is a public who, five years ago, did not exist and was not even in the top five nationalities. It is a bond unique”.

according To the director of the museum, the events related to the movement of the “yellow vests” had no impact on attendance, the museum has closed one Saturday: the 8th of December.

A night free of charge per month from the 5th of January

If the public, the Louvre is exceptionally young (50% of visitors are under 30 years old), the establishment plans to open up to a new audience beyond the regulars and foreign tourists, by launching from the 5th of January a night free every first Saturday of the month. What is new is that support is offered in some rooms.

“there are people who have a fear of not understanding the museum ; this night is to meet this need, with explanations, comments, shows, concerts, underlines the president. It is intended to retain this audience who feels lost: the gratuity is not enough, we need the support,” he says.

These Saturdays replace Sundays free whose formula is abandoned for lack of success, the free Sunday to have profited more for the foreign tourists, who saw a bargain.

The Louvre will be two events lighthouse in 2019 to attract more visitors: the 30th anniversary of the famous glass Pyramid of the Louvre, and a new retrospective of Leonardo da Vinci on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the death of a painter which occurred in France.