The Louvre reopens after almost four months of closure due to the pandemic. The most visited museum in the world has opened its doors with controlled entrances to ensure social distancing. It is a unique opportunity to see, without the perennial crowd of tourists, masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
Louvre’s masterpieces accessible again
In addition to the Mona Lisa, masterpieces such as the Venus de Milo and the vast collection of antiquities are accessible. On the other side, about a third of the total will remain closed. The famous museum hopes to start recovering from the enormous losses caused by the lockdown. These amounted to over 40 million euros. The new entry rules provide for 500 visitors every 30 minutes. That’s an attempt to reduce contact between people and the risks of contagion.
The director of the museum, Jean-Luc Martinez, has in fact recently declared that it will only be possible to return to the pre-Covid public presence within three years.
“About 7 thousand people have bought tickets. Normally we host about 30 thousand people per day”. Circumstances seem to promise a difficult period for this symbol of France. It’s unlikely to get close to the 9.6 million visitors registered last year, a number already decreasing compared to 10 million in 2018. About three-quarters of visitors in a typical year come from abroad. With tourism in serious difficulty, the Louvre will now aim to attract more French in the coming months. “We are losing 80% of our audience,” said Martines.
Looking at the future: a new concept of Louvre
As for the Mona Lisa, however, it will only be possible to see for 10-15 minutes and after having respected a queue for access. This way, the characteristic crowding of the room in which it is contained is limited. In short, for the first time in many years, we could see Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece alone, or almost.
To comply with the safety measures, in addition to booking the time and date of entry to the museum, the public will then have to follow a pre-established route. Even the use of masks, for these reasons, must be maintained for the duration of the visit.
From the moment of reopening, the museum will have to work hard to rebuild a relationship with the French population. This way, the institution will guarantee a stable public for the Louvre. The reopening, beyond all the challenges, is also a great opportunity. Visitors will have the chance to see the masterpieces in almost total solitude and visit the museum without incurring the now-iconic overcrowding of the rooms.