Approximately 7.4 million people visited the Musée du Louvre in 2016, with a total of almost 7.8 million including visitors to the Louvre Lens. The number of French visitors showed a slight increase (+2.6% million in comparison with 2015) against the backdrop of a sharp fall in the number of foreign tourists. The level of visitor satisfaction has increased, thanks in particular to the efforts made to improve visitor reception.
In comparison with 2015, the Louvre recorded a drop of about 13% in overall visitor numbers, primarily due to the consequences of the terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 and to the museum’s four-day closure during the flooding of the Seine in early June of 2016. Almost 70% of the museum’s visitors are foreign, which explains the impact of the international tourist flow on the museum’s visitor numbers. After France, the countries best represented at the Louvre are the United States, China, Great Britain, Italy and Germany.
The number of French visitors showed a slight increase at 2.13 million, despite the drop in the number of school group visits which were hard hit by the “Vigipirate” security measures (362,000 in 2016 in comparison with 510,000 in 2015). The under-30s continue to be well represented, accounting for 50% of total visitor numbers. As a reminder, more than a third of visitors are entitled to free admission (the under-18s; EU residents under 26; people on benefits; visitors with disabilities).
It is noteworthy that the level of visitor satisfaction has increased significantly: almost 70% of visitors are very satisfied with their experience in comparison with 53% in 2015. The renewed reception area under the Pyramid, inaugurated in the summer of 2016, is already a success, with positive visitor feedback on improved visiting conditions and visitor orientation and reduced waiting time. This is due in particular to the online ticket purchase option. The new rooms in the Pavillon de l’Horloge, dedicated to the Louvre and its history, have also improved visitors’ understanding of the museum spaces and collections.
Internet users the world over have remained faithful to the Louvre which, with 2.3 million fans, remains the most followed museum on Facebook. The Louvre is also the world’s most geotagged museum on Instagram, and has recently exceeded 1 million followers on Twitter. A total of almost 5 million people follow one of the museum’s 15 social media accounts (Google+, YouTube, Weibo, WeChat, etc.).
Two major temporary exhibitions were held in the Hall Napoléon in 2016: “Hubert Robert, 1733–1808. A Visionary Painter” drew some 135,000 visitors between March and May, followed by “Bouchardon, 1698–1762. A Sublime Idea of Beauty,” seen by some 87,000 people between September and December. The first exhibition in the Louvre’s Petite Galerie, “Founding Myths. From Hercules to Darth Vader” was a hit with the public. In the field of contemporary art, Eva Jospin’s Panorama, presented in the Cour Carrée from April 12 to August 21, 2016, drew 300,600 visitors, and the installation on the Pyramid by the artist JR (May 25–June 27, 2016) was seen by millions and admired worldwide via the social networks.
The Louvre also went out to meet its public, taking its exhibitions to some 1.2 million people in France and abroad. These events included the exhibition “Harmony and Excess: the Female Figure in Roman Mural Painting” (presented successively at the CaixaForum in Madrid, Zaragoza and Palma), the exhibitions on Ingres and Georges de La Tour at the Prado Museum, and the exhibition on the comic strip “L’Ouvre 9” in Taipei, Taiwan and Tokyo.
The Musée du Louvre offers customized programs for people with limited access to culture. In 2016:
- 6,400 people took part in the “The Louvre at Paris Plages: In the Kingdom of Neptune” during the summer.
- 1,700 people benefited from “The Louvre in Hospitals” program, organized in cooperation with the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris.
- 20,000 “social sector” visitors and 6,500 people with disabilities visited the museum and benefited from personalized support.
Four years after its inauguration, the Louvre-Lens has had over 2.3 million visitors, with 444,602 in 2016.
The exhibitions “Dance, Kiss Anyone You Like. Parties and Pleasure in the Time of Madame de Pompadour” and “Charles Le Brun” drew 45,000 and 40,000 visitors respectively.
The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix had 58,000 visitors in 2016. This represents a 14% increase, which is remarkable in the current context and can be explained by the intimate nature of the museum, less affected by the “Vigipirate” security measures.