Louvre Museum: longer opening hours soon?

by Destination(s) Europe

📌 Read in / Lire en : Français (French)

With the Covid-19 pandemic (almost) in the past, Parisian museums are doing much better. Although they haven’t returned to the pre-health crisis level, the cultural establishments of the capital saw the public return to them in 2022, and especially the tourists! If Asian visitors have been lacking, those from across the Atlantic, like Americans, have been there, according to figures published on the 5th of January by the various museums of the capital. Of course, the Louvre was the top of the list, registering 7.8 million visitors last year – an increase of 170% in one year!

A dazzling progression, but one which does not equal the level reached in 2019 when almost 10 million art lovers rushed to the largest museum in the world.

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Towards closing at 7 p.m.?

Indeed, in an interview with the France Info channel, the director of the Louvre, Laurence des Cars, admitted not wanting to return “to the world before”, and said that she was thinking about new access methods, in order to avoid this “feeling of being on public transport a little saturated.

Among the solutions considered by management is the extension of the reception period. Currently, the Parisian museum closes its doors at 6 p.m. (except on Friday night, a measure introduced before the summer). In 2023, the last visitors could be able to leave at 7 p.m. This decision has been made yet and it must be negotiated, in particular, with the trade unions. But this extension of opening would further “smooth” the number of daily visitors.

Within the same interview, the director of the Louvre admitted having tested daily quotas: “I established a gauge of 30,000 visitors per day maximum without advertising it. We tested it without telling you throughout the summer, a very busy period to see if it could work. It works very well because one of the good lessons of the crisis is that basically people practice pre-booking. 80% of Louvre visitors pre-book. This allows us to smooth the visits throughout the day, the week, with the necessary modulations during holiday periods and weekends.”

This quota has, it seems, satisfied the directors of the museum, who therefore wish to extend it. Another measure envisaged is the opening of a new entrance at the level of the colonnade of Perrault, in front of the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. Thus, this story is to be continued.

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