The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world’s most renowned museums. Established in 1793, it houses the world’s biggest collection of artwork and artifacts, ranging from ancient Egypt to modern society. Spanning over 64,000 square metres in 8 departments, it’s one of the biggest museums and the most famous visitor attraction in France.
The museum remains open year-round, except in certain special cases, such as Christmas and New Year’s Day, as well as during exceptional events. Admission is usually 10,00€ per adult, but there is a variety of discounts and concessions depending on certain criteria, such as age, nationality or occupation. Admission to the Louvre Museum is free on the first Sunday of each month for all, as well as on Bastille Day, the French National Holiday.
However, the Louvre Museum is still one of the busiest tourist attractions, with daily attendance easily reaching upwards of 25,000 people. Here, you can find centuries of art and culture in the same place, so it’s no surprise that it can become very crowded, particularly during school holidays. Consequently, queues can be incredibly long, especially in peak season, when viewing both the world-renowned Mona Lisa and the other artworks can become rather inconvenient.
In 2019, the Louvre implemented a new reservation system to help ease the overcrowding. This new system requires visitors to book in advance their desired artworks to visit, in order to receive a dedicated entrance slot, so they don’t have to queue and wait. This system allows visitors to pre-book audio-guided tours on a web-based platform, as well as purchase tickets to certain exhibitions, and even a dedicated VIP entrance.
But despite this, the museum still looks to find new ways to tackle the overcrowding without compromising the quality of the visitor experience. Ideas such as directional signage, entrance queues and effective crowd control techniques have all been recently tested, thanks to a £5 million investment from the French government over the past two years.
Furthermore, there are still several free areas within the Musée du Louvre, which visitors can explore. Among these areas, visitors can find the smaller corridor, the open air court and the garden terrace, for example. All these areas (including the free exhibitions) can be accessed without reservations, up until the last admissions, which close one hour before the museum’s closing time.
In conclusion, the Louvre Museum is without a doubt a rare and fascinating landmark in the French capital. Although general admission is usually around 10,00€, occasional entry can be acquired by taking advantage of the numerous discounts and deals, as well as the free admission periods. Additionally, the museum continues to invest in meeting contemporary needs in offering a high-quality visitor experience.
History of the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum opened to the public as one of the first French Royal Museums in 1793, under the remit of the French Republic. Following the French Revolution, the Louvre was used to store many prestigious artworks and artifacts from both private and public collections, allowing the general public access to these prestigious collections.
During the 19th century, the museum underwent several modifications, most notably the infamous glass pyramid, designed by architect I.M. Pei, as part of a major museum renovation project. This pyramid has become a trademark of Paris, allowing visitors to enter and access the modern museum via the underground shopping mall beneath.
But this wasn’t the first time the Louvre was redecorated or reconstructed. In fact, parts of the museum have been built and altered over the centuries, based on a series of royal and imperial redesigns, including the Louvre’s wings, the Tuileries Palace, and the most recent renovations conducted between 1989 and 1993.
Nowadays, the Louvre Museum still stands as a symbol of the French Republic and is visited by millions every year, showcasing a magnificent selection of some of the world’s most renowned artworks, such as the iconic Mona Lisa.
Preservation of the Museum
The Musée du Louvre is dedicated to preserving the majesty and history of the French nation and the museum itself strives to maintain and protect the cultural heritage owned or acquired by the museum. As one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, the museum is continuously repairing works, preserving them from public damage, reviewing their collections and restoring the precious works of art.
The museum appointments a select staff of qualified conservators and other experts to carry out scientific research, conservation and preservation of the exhibits, so that they may remain in their best condition. This team follows an extensive preventive maintenance program, which consists of temperature control, fire safety, humidity control and air circulation monitoring, in order to protect and, to the furthest extent possible, restore the works.
Additionally, the Louvre Museum also has a dedicated Education department responsible for organising and running educational activities for the public. It’s committed to engaging and educating the audience, welcoming 2 million visitors every year to the museum’s educational programs. Furthermore, Louvre staff provides support to school and university visits, as well as inclusivity for the disabled and non-French speaking visitors.
Impact on Tourism and Economy
The Louvre Museum has had a profound impact on the tourism industry in Paris and the world. The Louvre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, and it’s estimated that the museum alone attracted over 8 million people in 2017. Not only has the museum had an influence on the city’s tourism, but it has also had an effect on Paris’s booming economy.
In a report conducted in 2017, the Louvre Museum is estimated to contribute over $1.2 billion to the Paris economy. This formidable economic impact included direct economic impacts from the tourism industry, from the museum itself, and from the ripple effect throughout the city. Beyond the great economic benefit, the Louvre has also had a positive impact on the city in terms of cultural education.
Indeed, the museum has also been acknowledged for its global reach and brand recognition, as it actively extends its collections across several countries. It has had a significant impact on many cultures, as it has hosted several travelling exhibitions around the world, from New York to Tokyo.
In fact, the Louvre Museum is one of only a few museums in the world to have a dedicated international relations department. The staff manages the museum’s international collaborations and projects, helping to make France’s rich culture and history a more global experience.
The Louvre Museum has its share of controversies, which stem from the perceived elitism of the museum and its pricing policy. Throughout the years, several visitor protests have led to widespread criticism over the museum’s proposed policy measures to tackle overcrowding, such as limiting visitors to certain times and reserving certain areas only for certain visitors. Some have even gone as far as suggesting that the Louvre Museum is becoming increasingly inaccessible, due to its rising admission charges.
Additionally, some have criticised the museum for failing to represent the entire history of France, primarily due to the lack of works from the 18th century. This same issue has also been brought up in regards to the museum’s collections from other cultures, which are frequently deemed to be unrepresentative and of low quality.
The Louvre Museum has also often been accused of failing to properly compensate or give credit to the artists it represents. While this is a difficult issue to address, as it would require a re-evaluation of the museum’s pricing structures and policies, the Louvre Museum has unofficially implemented a proactive approach towards contemporary artworks and recognising the work of modern and emerging artists.
Ingredients of the Louvre Experience
Visiting the Louvre Museum is a truly unique experience. There is a certain emotion that cannot be put into words when looking at the artworks, but it is often easy to feel at one with the centuries of culture and humanity the museum transmits. Those of all age ranges, interests, nationalities and upbringings can find something to be captivated by.
The tours, events and educational activities the Louvre Museum offers all contribute to an immersive experience for its visitors. The permanent and temporary collections feature world-renowned artworks, as stated above. Moreover, the buildings’ architecture and the stories behind each artwork all add to the atmosphere.
Moreover, the Musée du Louvre is something more than just a cultural attraction, it’s also the perfect place for visitors to lose themselves in the city’s wealth of history, surrounded by the Western world’s greatest collections of art. This experience can be relaxing and stimulating, meditative and enlightening, depending on one’s interests and desires.
The Louvre also makes every effort to create a safe and enjoyable environment for visitors, as it is well patrolled and monitored. Yet, despite this, the artwork must be protected too, so visitors are reminded to avoid touching the works of art or taking photos with flash on, due to the potential damage that may occur.
The Louvre Museum is an iconic French landmark full of charm, beauty and history. Although the admission charge is usually around 10,00€, there are frequently concessions and discounts available, which can be taken advantage of, including free entries during certain periods. The museum’s main goal is to ensure that the works of art on display are protected and remain open for the public to enjoy, so visitors should act accordingly.
Finally, the Louvre Museum stands tall as a testament to the immense cultural heritage of the French nation and remains one of the world’s most visited attractions. With its imposing glass pyramid, amazing collection of art artworks, unique architectural designs and its year-round availability, the Louvre is sure to mesmerize and captivate those who have the opportunity to cross its storied gates.