The Louvre recorded a sharp increase in visitor attendance from January to December 2017, with 8.1 million visitors (+14% compared to 2016). In a year marked by the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the recovery of tourism in Paris and the ongoing renovation of the Louvre’s permanent collections, attendance at the Louvre picked up again, with the exhibition “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” drawing many domestic and international
A total of some 8.5 million visitors admired the Louvre’s collections in Paris and Lens in 2017.
After a steep drop in tourism in 2016 in the wake of the terrorist attacks and the flooding of the Seine in June, foreign visitor numbers rose to almost 5.7 million in 2017, i.e. 70% of total museum attendance. The best represented countries were the United States with a 23% increase in attendance (1 million visitors: 13% of overall attendance ), China (626,000 visitors: 8%), Brazil (289,000: 3.5%), the United Kingdom (280,000 visitors), Germany (259,000 visitors) and Spain (224,000 visitors. The sharpest increases were for Russia (up 92% from 2016), Brazil (+82%) and Japan (+52%).
The Louvre’s flagship spring 2017 exhibitions were huge hits:“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” and “ Valentin de Boulogne: B e y o n d Caravaggio” (February 22– May 22). The Vermeer exhibition, featuring twelve of the artist's 35 masterpieces , drew almost 325,000 visitors with an average daily attendance of 4,200, while some 205,000 visitors attended the exhibition on “Valentin de Boulogne.” By December 31, 2017, 100,000 people had already attended the major fall exhibition, “François 1 and Dutch Art” (October 18, 2017–January 15, 2018).About 300,000 visitors attended the exhibitions held in the Petite Galerie in 2017: “The Body in Movement” (October 6, 2016–July
3, 2017) and “Power Plays” (September 25, 2017–July 5, 2018).
After remaining stable in 2016, domestic visitor numbers increased in 2017 with almost 2.3 million French visitors to the Louvre (compared to 2.1 million in 2016).School group visits, hard hit by the “Vigipirate” security measures in 2016, are gradually picking up again (+9%); 390,000 school children visited the Louvre in 2017. The under-30s account for 51% of overall attendance.
In 2017, the Louvre continued to offer customized programs for people with limited access to culture:
- over 2,100 visitors from the educational, social or disability sectors benefited from special visits on Tuesdays (when the museum is closed to the public).
- 300 classes took part in long-term projects featuring museum visits and Louvre-designed educational resources for use in the classroom.
- 740 students collaborated with the museum to present evening events called “Young People Have Their Say.”
Visitors to the Louvre in 2017 expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the renewed reception area under the Pyramid. Overall visitor satisfaction remained high with almost 96% of visitors satisfied with their experience, rewarding the museum’s efforts in terms of room renovation, directional sign age in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese) and translation into English and Spanish of informative texts on the rooms and artworks .
In 2017, the Louvre maintained its lead on social media, with more followers than any other French museum and over 5.7 million subscribers to its 15 official accounts. The Louvre is the world’s most followed museum on Facebook, with 2.7 million fans, and the most geotagged on Instagram. The museum’s presence on Chinese social media is also on the rise with over 110,000 subscribers on Weibo and WeChat. In 2017, the Louvre won the Weibo award for the world’s most influential cultural institution, thanks to its huge subscriber growth (+49% in 2017) and the quality of its content and outreach.
The Louvre-Lens museum —the third most visited in the French provinces—celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. It has had over 2.8 million visitors since it opened, with more than 450,000 in 2017.
Visitor attendance at the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix hit a record high in 2017 with 76,000 visitors, a 30% increase on 2016. This was particularly due to the exhibition “Maurice Denis and Eugène Delacroix: from Studio to Museum” (May 23-August 28, 2017), which drew over 35,000 visitors. This all-time high was also a result of the rich and varied program proposed by the museum in recent years.
The Louvre also went out to meet its public both in France and abroad, drawing about 1 million visitors to exhibitions such as “The Figure of Eve” at the Musée Rolin in Autun (Burgundy), “Inventing Le Louvre” in Hong Kong and Beijing, and the exhibition on the “L’Ouvre 9” comic strip in Japan.