If you've ever visited the Louvre, you may have witnessed the commotion surrounding the Mona Lisa. Massive crowds surround Leonardo da Vinci's oil painting, with phones waving in the air as people attempt to snap a photo. All the while, the myriad of surrounding masterpieces are completely ignored. But those days may soon be gone thanks to confirmation from the museum that it has been limiting—and will continue to limit—daily visitors to 30,000. That's a significant decrease from the 45,000 people who made their way through the museum each day just prior to the pandemic.
In 2022, 7.8 million people meandered through the Louvre, taking in its incredible range of artistic masterpieces. Though that's not the 10 million visitor number the museum enjoyed before the pandemic, it's a significant rise from attendance in 2021. And while the Louvre's management is happy to have people come back to the museum, they are also concerned about the visitor experience. In fact, even prior to the pandemic, concerned about large tour groups, the Louvre was looking at ways to improve crowd control.
“I would like a visit to the Louvre to be a moment of pleasure, especially for people who are discovering the museum for the first time, which means 60 percent of our visitors,” Laurence des Cars, the museum's new director, told the New York Times.
And so, since June 2022, the museum has quietly been limiting the number of entries each day. In doing so, they hope to ease congestion and solve the throngs around the Mona Lisa. This change should also diminish wait times and bottlenecks at the I.M. Pei-designed Pyramid entrance.
On the flip side, if you are planning on paying a visit to this Paris institution, you'll want to plan in advance so that you won't be left in the cold. Certainly, with more breathing room, this bit of planning will more than pay off once you get inside.