The Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, reopens after its coronavirus closure on Monday, but with nearly a third of its galleries still closed. The vast and former palace of the kings of France has lost more than 40 million euros ($ 45 million) in ticket sales during the nearly four-month shutdown, and director Jean-Luc Martinez admitted there could be a few years. further ahead as the world adjusts to the virus
Although most of the museum’s most popular draws, such as the “Mona Lisa” and its vast collection of antiques will be accessible, other galleries where social distancing is more difficult will remain closed.
There will also be no overcrowding in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece for a selfie, and visitors cautioned that they will have to stand in well-spaced places marked on the floor. To avoid bottlenecks, the arrows will guide visitors through the maze of the galleries, with a ban on duplicating them, the museum said.
About 70 percent of the Louvre’s 9.6 million visitors last year came from abroad, and with tourism stagnant, Martinez told AFP that the numbers could drop dramatically.
“We are losing 80 percent of our audience,” he said.
“We will be in the best 20-30 percent below last summer, between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors per day,” he estimated.
The museum hopes to attract more French visitors to fill the void as it embarks on a campaign to shake off its elite image before the Paris Olympics in four years. Martinez, who hails from a working-class background, said he wanted to take advantage of the successful outreach of the advanced Louvre museum in Lens, a poor old mining town in northern France.
He said that sometimes the Louvre can “intimidate” certain demographic groups and that the museum needs to reassure people that its collections are also for them with improved presentation, labeling and curation.