2020: the year in review

The Musée du Louvre welcomed 2.7 million visitors* in 2020, a year marked by the huge success of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ exhibition (1.1 million visitors) and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum had to close its doors for six months: from 14 March to 6 July, and again since 29 October. In 2020, museum attendance was down 72% compared with 2019.
The Louvre is preparing to open newly-renovated rooms in the heart of the former palace before the summer of 2021. These include a new introduction to Egyptian Antiquities; the installation of the Etruscan and Italic collections in the former King’s apartments; and a new hanging of masterworks of early Italian painting in a renovated Salon Carré. At the Tuileries Garden, the Grande Allée will be enhanced with 92 majestic elm trees, starting this winter. The Studio, a new space dedicated to artistic and cultural education, will open in September 2021. The programme of exhibitions has been revised to ensure that shows initially expected to close in 2021 remain open as soon as the museum can welcome visitors again. These include ‘Body and Soul: Italian Renaissance sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo’ and ‘Albrecht Altdorfer: a German Renaissance Master’.
New exhibitions are slated to open in 2021: at the Musée Delacroix, ‘A Romantic Duel: Lord Byron’s Giaour by Delacroix’ in the Spring; ‘Paris-Athens, the Birth of modern Greece (1675–1919)’ at the Louvre in the Autumn; and ‘Theatre costumes from the Edmond de Rothschild collection’.

Strong French presence at the museum
The hugely successful ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ exhibition pushed up museum attendance over the first two months of the year by 17%, compared with the same period in 2019. 
  • 492,610 people visited the blockbuster exhibition in January and February 2020,
  • of which 60,000 took advantage of three special free night-time openings. 
During the summer months and the autumn half-term holiday, the usual 75% of foreign visitors was absent, but the museum welcomed a large French audience:
  • more than 972,000 visitors from 6 July to 29 October 2020,
  • of which 84% French people;
  • breakdown of foreign visitors: 4% German, 2% Dutch, 2% Spanish, 2% British and 1% Italian.
50% of visitors benefited from free entry to the museum in 2020, notably during the three late-night Saturday openings and the last three all-night openings of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ exhibition. As a reminder, visitors under the age of 26 living in the European Economic Area benefit from free entry to the museum.
Special attention was paid to vulnerable audiences:
  • the museum welcomed 174 groups during the summer of 2020, of which 76% were from disadvantaged communities; 
  • 26 buses brought 768 people to the museum within the framework of the #MonÉtéMaRégion programme, designed to get people of the greater Paris region involved in cultural events. 
Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre, said, ‘This health crisis has upended our work and our lives. At the museum, a place of meaningful encounters and discovery par excellence, we are saddened by the absence of visitors and empty rooms. But the Louvre’s long history has taught us that hope for brighter days is never in vain. We must hold on to that hope and optimism to get through this period and remind ourselves of the meaning of our mission: to make beauty, which goes beyond human understanding, accessible to everyone. I would like to thank Louvre staff for their unwavering commitment and hard work. Thanks to their perseverance, museum activity was able to continue during this difficult time.’
In the mist of the health crisis, the Louvre maintained its ambitious and innovative efforts…

… to offer a rich cultural programme
At the Louvre, outstanding exhibitions took place:

  • ‘Body and Soul: Italian Renaissance sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo’: 19,000 visitors from 21 to 29 October
  • ‘Albrecht Altdorfer: a German Renaissance Master’: 31,000 visitors from 1 to 29 October
  • The Advent of the Artist’, in the Petite Galerie: 343,000 visitors since 25 September 2019, of which 300 school groups or groups from disadvantaged communities
In France:
  • ‘Pharaoh, Osiris and the Mummy’ at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence
  • ‘British stories’ at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux 
  • ‘Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins’ at the Getty Villa, Los Angeles
  • ‘El Greco’ at the Art Institute of Chicago
  • ‘Furusiyya: the art of chivalry between East and West’ at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
In July, the museum started offering ‘mini-discovery’ tours free of charge with no reservation required, attracting 46,000 visitors.
A rich digital offering: virtual visits, conferences broadcast live, new and interesting podcasts, etc.
  • 9.3 million subscribers on social networks (1.02 million more than in 2019)
  • 21 million visits to louvre.fr in 2020
… to attract divers audiences
   • ‘The Louvre at home’ in Melun: 1,200 people benefited from the museum’s programme in the Parisian suburb in 2020
   • Travelling Petite Galerie exhibitions at the PSA factory in Charleville-Mézières
   • The Louvre pursued programmes in hospitals and prisons
… to pursue renovations and major projects
Renovations of museum spaces continued:
   • Refurbishment of the Etruscan and Italic rooms (in the former King’s appartments)
   • Spruce-up of the Salon Carré
   • Restoration of the mastaba (tomb) chapel of Akhethotep


The project to restore the Tuileries Garden has reached a new stage:
   • inauguration in September 2020 of the ‘Birds’ Grove’ (Bosquet des Oiseaux)
   • launch of the ‘Tous Mécènes !’ fundraising campaign for the Tuileries

In December 2020 the Musée du Louvre received ISO 50001 certification for energy management. The goal is to decrease energy consumption by 10% over five years for a savings of about 9,000 MWh, i.e. the equivalent of annual electricity consumption of 2,000 French households.  

At the close of 2020, 141 semi-trailers brought approximately 100,000 objects out of 250,000 to the Louvre’s Conservation Centre in Liévin. 

Several digital projects are also underway: re-design of the Louvre’s website, a public database to make collections accessible to all, etc.

… to diversify resources
   • Over 90 million euros in losses
   • 46 million euros in State aid
The Louvre continues to innovate and find new ways to raise funds: 
   • ‘A Night at the Louvre: Leonardo da Vinci’, a filmed guided tour of the exhibition broadcast in association with Pathé Live in cinemas around the world; 
   • Continued promotion of the ‘Louvre’ brand: launch of the limited-edition DS 7 Crossback Louvre car and a new Ladurée macaron box, Flowers and Butterflies;
   • The ‘Bid for The Louvre’ auction raised 2,365,000 euros;
   • ‘Tous Mécènes !’ fundraising campaign for the Tuileries: €900,000 raised to-date;
  • David Guetta’s ‘United at home’ non-profit concert in Paris, geared at an international, young and connected audience to raise money for the Musée du Louvre, UNICEF and Restos du Cœur, was seen  16 million times throughout the world. 

The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix welcomed close to 21,000 visitors, most of whom came to the museum for the first time. In accordance with governmental decrees, the museum closed from 14 March to 21 June, and again on 29 October.

The Louvre-Lens counted 212,353 entries in 2020, i.e. 40% of total entries in 2019, despite closing from 14 March to 2 June, then from 30 October to 31 December:
   • 31% of visitors hailed from the salaried and working classes between June and October
   • 65,000 visitors for the exhibition ‘Black Suns’ between 3 June and 30 October.


Key figures

• 2.7 million visitors in 2020 (down 72% from 2019)
• 161 days open instead of 311
• 70% French visitors on average in 2020
• 1 out of 2 benefited from free entry
• Over €90M in losses


Contacts presse

Marion Benaiteau
+33 6 88 42 52 62