The Louvre reopens with new rules and restrictions after heavy coronavirus losses

Iconic Parisian art museum has lost more than £36m during the coronavirus pandemic

Louis Chilton
Monday 06 July 2020 09:46
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Activists scale the Louvre

The Louvre has reopened its doors, having shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Paris’s iconic art museum has lost more than €40m (£36m) in ticket sales since the start of the lockdown, and nearly a third of its galleries still remain closed.

Visitors will have to comply with new social distancing regulations when touring the museum, which include the need to view artworks while standing on well-distanced spots marked on the floor.

The Louvre is home to artworks including Leonardo da Vinci’s famed Mona Lisa, and is the world’s most-visited museum.

To avoid bottlenecks forming, people will be guided through the museum by arrow, and doubling back will be forbidden.

Galleries in which social distancing would not be possible, or would be too complicated to organise, will be closed.

Museum director Jean-Luc Martinez told AFP that he expects visitor numbers to remain lower than normal as the world struggles to adapt to life during the pandemic.

At a press conference last week, Martinez said: “We are losing 80% of our public. 75% of our visitors are foreign. We’re going to have, at best, 20% to 30% of our Summer 2019 public, at most 4,000 to 10,000 visitors daily.”

He added that the museum would not be turning visitors away, as was the case some days last year during the summer.

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