The Louvre museum in Paris opened again today after closing for three and a half months due to the coronavirus pandemic. As France24 reports, with international borders still locked, visitors hailing from other countries will need to wait until restrictions are lifted.
On Monday 9 AM, Louvre museum threw open its doors but to a European crowd only. World’s most-visited museum has rolled out the new set of rules due to the pandemic.
Masks will be compulsory for all who enter, and a time for entry must be booked, according to the website. Larger groups are welcome but of up to 25 people only.
Louvre’s website says that it ranks as the world’s most-visited museum, welcoming 10 million people each year. However, lockdown has seen a revenue drop of €40 million. In fact, recent closure has been the longest since Louvre’s shuttering in World War II.
Louvre Director Jean-Luc Martinez said the numbers are dropping from their customary highs. “We are losing 80% of our public. We are going to be at best 20-30% down on last summer — between 4,000-10,000 visitors a day,” he said in a statement to Radio France International.
Louvre’s top artworks are the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault, and Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix, as well as sculptures such as the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory.
Upon today’s reopening, visitors may view only 70% of the total collections, and the planned spring exhibition focusing on geniuses of the Renaissance has been cancelled.
Louvre interiors allow people to maintain social distance easily
The building’s cavernous interiors prove to be one of the best spaces to oblige the need for social distancing, something which will need to be reinforced for the many art lovers who will soon aim to visit the beloved institution.
That anticipation though has not prevented Louvre’s administration from instituting the same sanitary measures found throughout the rest of the French society, such as the enforcement of the wearing of masks and keeping one meter apart.
Under new rules, visitors will also find directional arrows placed on the floor of the building, steering everyone forward only, with the possibility to backtrack and look again at one’s favourite statue or painting prohibited for now.