Paris Louvre museum reopens on Monday after crippling losses due to COVID-19

Paris Louvre museum reopens on Monday after crippling losses due to COVID-19

Louvre museum prepares to re-open after lockdown
A view shows the closed Louvre Pyramid, as the museum prepares to reopen its doors to the public following the COVID-19 outbreak in France, on Jun 23, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

PARIS: The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday (Jul 6) but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.

The Louvre has been closed since Mar 13 and this has already led "to losses of over €40 million," its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.

Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.

"We have lost 80 per cent of our public. Seventy-five per cent of our visitors were foreigners," Martinez said.

"We will at best see 20 to 30 per cent of our numbers recorded last summer - between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors daily at the most," he said.

Visitors will have to wear masks, there will be no snacks or cloakrooms available and the public will have to follow a guided path through the museum.

Positions have been marked in front of the Mona Lisa - where tourists routinely pose for selfies - to ensure social distancing.

READ: Louvre Museum prepares to reopen in July, minus the Mona Lisa crowd

France contributes €100 million (US112 million)to the Louvre's €250 million annual budget and the museum must make up the rest, according to experts.

Seventy per cent of the museum's public areas - or 45,000 sq m - will be open to the public.

After the success of its blockbuster Leonardo exhibition which closed earlier this year, the Louvre said its two exhibitions scheduled for spring and then postponed would now take place in the autumn.

These are on Italian sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo and the renaissance German master Albrecht Altdorfer.

The Louvre has upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the most followed museum in the world on Instagram with over four million followers.

Martinez is planning a revamp of the museum ahead of 2024, when Paris hosts the Olympic Games.

Source: AFP/ga