A provisional calendar for the reopening of public institutions was then released today (May 29, 2020) by the French Minister of Culture Frank Riester following a meeting with presidents from the larger establishments concerned.
As part of the same establishment, the Musée du Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Carrousel Garden and Musée National Eugène-Delacroix will be working together to prepare their reopening.
The Carrousel Garden will open on May 30, and the Tuileries Garden on May 31. In line with the distancing measures outlined by the authorities, games and gatherings of more than 10 people will continue to be prohibited in the gardens.
To ensure optimal conditions, visitors will be required to book tickets for the museums in advance and new signs will be installed to control the flow of people throughout the buildings. All those entering the museum will be required to wear a mask and follow safety recommendations.
The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix is preparing to reopen on June 22, and the Musée du Louvre on July 6. Bookings for both museums can be made as of June 15, by calling +33 1 44 41 86 50 for the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix (from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) or online for the Musée du Louvre at www.ticketlouvre.fr. Those entitled to free admission should also book a timeslot to visit the museums.
In the Musée du Louvre, the “Advent of the Artist” in the Petite Galerie has been extended through summer. The family-oriented exhibition, conceived as part of this year’s Renaissance series, is a great way for visitors of all ages to discover some of the greatest artists featured in the Louvre. The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix will be running small group tours (free of charge).
The museums are happy to announce their program for fall. After the success of the Leonardo exhibition last winter, and thanks to European partners, the Renaissance season will continue at the Louvre with “Body and Soul: Sculpture in Italy from Donatello to Michelangelo” and “Albrecht Altdorfer, a German Renaissance Master”, both of which were originally planned for spring but will now be launched in October. And at the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, the “Romantic Dual” exhibition, organized in collaboration with our colleagues in Draguignan, will launch in November.
At the Musée du Louvre-Lens, the park and Galerie du Temps (free entry) will open as of June 3 and the “Black Suns” exhibition as of June 10 (free entry throughout June).
Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre: “The Louvre is happy to announce that it will be reopening its doors after these weeks of quarantine that we have all endured. Visiting conditions will be adapted to adhere strictly to the recommendations made by health authorities, as we want everyone to feel safe at the Louvre, whether they are coming for work or pleasure. This period has not been easy, but commitment and collaboration will see us overcome the difficulties we are facing. Although we have been providing resources on Louvre masterpieces online, nothing can replace the emotion felt when standing face to face with such treasures—the raison d’être of all museums.
We have had to reorganize loan agreements with our Italian, Austrian and German colleagues to ensure exhibitions will be able to take place in the fall. I see this reshuffled program—made possible thanks to the generosity of our neighbors, who continue to make every effort although shaken by the health crisis—as a beacon of hope. Dedicated to the great masters of the Renaissance, who were revered across Europe, it summarizes what has given museums purpose and strength through time: our shared cultural heritage. I am particularly moved by the successful work we have been able to carry out with Italy, as for projects past, despite challenging circumstances. I hope that those living in France and soon, in Europe find their way back to the Louvre; now is the time to visit the museum, as we are all in need of a moving experience and real connection. Nothing heals the soul better than art and beauty.”
The Musée du Louvre, Musée National Eugène-Delacroix and Tuileries Garden closed on Friday, March 13.
During lockdown, our teams have been:
- ensuring the security of the museums and grounds, by performing regular rounds in and around the palace;
- processing the payment of staff salaries and supplier bills;
- carrying out maintenance works in the building;
- equipped to work from home—450 staff members are currently working from home;
- provided alternative Louvre content on social media and via the website (see statistics below);
- reorganized the cultural program;
- followed up on the 800 Louvre artworks on loan in exhibitions currently held in France and abroad;
- refunded tickets that could not be used due to the lockdown. To date, 90% have been successfully refunded—that’s 70,000 to individual visitors and 34,000 to tourist agencies. The remaining 10% is currently being
processed on a case by case basis due to either technical problems missing information.
And since May 11, they have been:
- establishing official measures to ensure safety in each area and for each profession;
- restarting the architectural renovation projects, which rely on over 100 contractors (French companies);
- resuming the transfer of artworks to the conservation center in Liévin;
- looking after the gardens and planting flowers;
- resuming museum workshops.
A few figures about Louvre website:
Between March 12 and May 22 (71 days), the website has been visited 10.5 million times, compared to a total of 14.1 million times across the entire year of 2019 (365 days).
Prior to the health crisis: 40,000 users/day.
First weeks of crisis: average of 330,000 users/day, with a record 400,000 visits one day.
In May: around 55,000 users/day.
Nationality of visitors between March 12 and May 22:
- 77% non-French speakers (usually 59%; 90% at beginning of lockdown);
- 16% from France (50% in 2019) and 17 % from US—website visited just as much from US as France.
Particularly encouraging statistics:
- the English version of the virtual visit page has received 10 million views;
- the free “Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass” VR experience app, developed for the Louvre’s Leonardo exhibition, has been downloaded over 10,500 times;
- “Louvre Kids”, a website and app offering a range of animated stories, colouring-in drawings and games about some of the Louvre’s masterpieces, has received over 76,000 visits (average time spent: 4 minutes).
On social media:
Thanks to the promotion of content using the hashtags #LouvreChezVous, #CultureChezNous and #MuseumFromHome, the Louvre’s social media accounts have gained over 300,000 followers. The Louvre’s Instagram page broke 4 million followers, making it the most popular ancient art museum on the platform.
The museum will be continuing to provide new digital and audiovisual content online.