• gerard van weyenbergh

The virtual Louvre acclaimed by more than 10 million visits in 71 days

Updated: Jun 1

These visits over 71 days (March 12-May 22) are to be compared with the year 2019, for which the largest museum in the world had totaled 14.1 million visits. While the vagueness reigns over a reopening date, which they hope for in the summer, the museum teams are careful to offer numerous virtual resources every week in English, the first usual visitors to the museum being the Americans, before the Chinese.

Attendance peaked, especially during the first weeks of confinement, with 330,000 visits on average. 90% of visitors were non-French speaking, against 77% currently. From March 12 to May 22, 16% of visits were made from France, compared to 17% from the United States.

For Sophie Grange, Deputy Director of Communication for the Louvre , "the combination of the smartphone and social networks" consecrates the triumph of the virtual image and the major museums have no choice but to make the most of these media to make themselves known to a wider audience, at home. "We fight a bit because the work of art is not an image and we have to walk around it, the work of art would require a real meeting, " she admits to AFP.

The app offering a virtual reality experience, "Head to head with the Mona Lisa" (downloaded over 10,500 times) and a new service for children ( petitlouvre.louvre.fr

Thanks to #LouvreChezVous, #CultureChezNous or even #MuseumFromHome, the Louvre accounts gained 302,500 subscribers and are now followed by 8.83 million people.

The Instagram account is particularly popular, growing very quickly: it has crossed 4 million subscribers, which makes the Louvre the most followed museum of ancient art on this platform, according to the museum. It is also on Instagram that Louvre officials freely joined the challenge launched by the Getty and other museums, to reconstitute scenes from their favorite paintings as a family

The virtual tour of the Cariatides room is a hit on social networks.