The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most well-attended museum, will now limit the number of daily visitors to 30,000 “in order to facilitate a comfortable visit and ensure optimal working conditions for museum staff,” according to a release issued by the museum on Thursday.
Prior to the pandemic, the Louvre could welcome up to 45,000 visitors each day, according to the Art Newspaper. When the Louvre reopened after lockdown in July 2020 after a 16-week closure, it did not officially limit capacity, though its attendance was down because of the ongoing pandemic and international travel restrictions.
The museum quietly made the decision to limit its daily visitorship in June 2022, shortly after the announcement that Laurence des Cars would be its next president-director but before she officially took over on September 1.
In a statement, des Car said, “The extremely positive figures for 2022 are tremendously encouraging for all our staff. I hope that visitors enjoy spending time at the Musée du Louvre, particularly those discovering the museum for the first time, who represent 60% of them. We are working ever harder to improve visiting conditions and to continue to offer a programme of great quality and a unique array of live performances resonating with what’s on at the museum.”
The Louvre announced the official change in daily visitorship in announcing its official attendance figures for 2022. Last year, it welcomed 7.8 million visitors, up 120 percent from 2021’s figures but still down 19 percent from its peak of 9.6 million in 2019.
According to the museum, travel restrictions continued to impact its first quarter of attendance, but increased attendance in the latter three quarters “illustrated a strongly positive trend.” With this change, the Louvre, which is closed each Tuesday and on three public holidays, can welcome a maximum of 9.3 million visitors in 2023.
Of the 7.8 million who visited the Louvre in 2022, 30 percent were French and 70 percent were foreign visitors, with visitors from the U.S. representing 18 percent. Visitors from Asia “were practically absent despite a small increase observed at the end of the year,” according to the report. Additional figures represent that 45 percent of visitors were under 25, 60 percent were first-time visitors, and 225,000 visitors benefited from the Louvre’s extended Friday evening hours.