Record-breaking year for the Louvre with more than 10 million visitors in 2018

Not only is the Louvre the most visited museum in the world, but it welcomed more than ten million visitors in 2018 -- an unprecedented figure for an international museum, according to its management.

Bertrand Guay, AFP | The Louvre Pyramid shown illuminated on the night of October 2, 2018.

"For the first time in its history, and I think for the first time in the history of museums, more than ten million visitors visited the Louvre in 2018," Jean-Luc Martinez, President and CEO of the Louvre, said on Thursday.

With 10.2 million visitors last year, the Louvre recorded a 25 percent increase compared to 2017 (8.1 million) and broke its own attendance record (9.7 million in 2012).

In 2017, the Louvre was followed by the National Museum of China with 8 million visitors, followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (7.3).

According to Martinez, the record "is driven by the recovery of international tourism in Paris" after a 30 percent drop in attendance in recent years due to the attacks.

It is also partly explained by the work carried out over the past two years to increase the museum's capacity.

"We created a new baggage storage facility and a new ticket office. And we also developed a new reception area for groups, allowing us to better accommodate more people," explains Martinez.

The total cost of the works was nearly €60 million, financed largely by the money paid under the agreement with the Abu Dhabi Louvre, which was inaugurated more than a year ago, he said.

The introduction of online sales also reduced waiting times, attracting more visitors and spreading traffic throughout the day.

This year, the museum’s fame was even boosted by two very special guests: music superstars Beyoncé and Jay Z, who chose to stage their “Apes**T” video in the Louvre.

The first couple of American pop music were granted special access to the galleries, in a move the museum’s director believes helped bring the magic of the Louvre to people less familiar with classical art.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app