Paris’ Louvre to open with losses of €40m and 80% less visits as foreign visitors stay home
The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.
The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led "to losses of over 40 million euros," its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.
Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.
"We have lost 80 percent of our public. Seventy-five percent of our visitors were foreigners," Martinez said.
"We will at best see 20 to 30 percent of our numbers recorded last summer -- between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors daily at the most," he said.
The summer program offers visitors a chance to discover the Advent of the Artist exhibition in the Petite Galerie and enjoy a free, short tour around the permanent collections.
A series of tours will also be organized as part of the French Government’s holiday learning program for kids (“Vacances apprenantes”). The fall program will begin in October with exhibitions dedicated to the Renaissance masters.
All visitors must book a time slot to visit the museum, including those entitled to free admission. For guaranteed entry, we recommend booking a time slot online (www.ticketlouvre.fr).
All staff members and visitors over the age of 11 must wear a mask in the palace.
One-way systems have been set up to control the flow of visitors throughout the museum. The recently renovated Galerie d’Apollon and the Salle des États (where the Mona Lisa is displayed) will be entered and exited through separate doors. Special signs indicate recommended itineraries, which visitors will be asked to follow strictly at peak times.
France contributes 100 million euros to the Louvre's 250-million-euro annual budget and the museum must make up the rest, according to experts.
Seventy percent of the museum's public areas -- or 45,000 square metres (about 485,000 square feet) -- will be open to the public.
After the success of its blockbuster Leonardo exhibition which closed earlier this year, the Louvre said its two exhibitions scheduled for spring and then postponed would now take place in the autumn.
These are on Italian sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo and the renaissance German master Albrecht Altdorfer.
The Louvre has upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the most followed museum in the world on Instagram with over four million followers.
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