Louvre Museum in Paris reopens after four months of closure due to COVID-19
File photo of Louvre Museum in ParisXinhua/Li Genxing/IANS

Louvre Museum in Paris reopens after four months of closure due to COVID-19

Paris, July 6, 2020

The iconic Louvre in Paris, which has one of the finest art collections and is one of the most visited museums in the world, reopened today after remaining closed for almost four months as part of the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Visitors will, however, have to follow several guidelines to ensure safe conditions, including making advance bookings of time slots for their visit.

All those entering the palace will be also required to wear a mask and follow social distancing and hygiene recommendations, the museum said.

Along with the museum, the Carrousel and the Tuileries gardens are also now open.

"To ensure optimal conditions, all visitors will be required to book a time slot and wear a mask in the museum. We will also be applying the safety and social distancing measures recommended for public spaces," the museum said on its website.

All visitors, including those entitled to free admission, must book a time slot (online ticketing service available here as of June 15, 2020).

During off-peak times, there may also be a limited number of time slots for same-day visits available for booking at the museum. "However, if you wish to guarantee your entry to the museum, we strongly advise booking your time slot in advance online," the museum said.

Due to current circumstances, only card payments will be accepted.

Both staff members and visitors over the age of 11 will be required to wear a mask in the museum. Visitors must bring their own masks. Hydroalcoholic gel will be provided at both entrances to disinfect hands and must be used before entering the building.

Social distancing rules and preventive measures must be respected in the museum.

Independent tour guides are allowed to bring groups of up to 25 people. However, in order to respect social distancing measures, they will be required to use headsets and a microphone.

From July until September 2020, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day except Tuesdays.

Two entrances to the museum will be open: the Pyramid entrance, where there will be specific queues for each time slot, and the Richelieu entrance, for visitors with member cards (Amis du Louvre, Louvre Pro, ICOM, Ministère de la Culture, Patrons Circle, etc.) and groups. The Carrousel entrance will not be open.

For sanitary and safety reasons, some changes will be made to the services on offer: the cloakroom will remain closed, meaning that motorcycle helmets, suitcases and large bags will not be allowed in the building.

Prams/strollers and wheelchairs will still be available and will be cleaned after each use.

The bookstore will open as of July 6 and the catering services in the museum will also open in time.

The museum audio guide will be available as of July 15. You can book your audio guide online with your ticket here.

A press release from Louvre had said last week that the summer program offers visitors a chance to discover the “Advent of the Artist” exhibition in the Petite Galerie and enjoy a free, short tour around the permanent collections.

The fall program will begin in October with exhibitions dedicated to the Renaissance masters.

One-way systems have been set up to control the flow of visitors throughout the museum. The recently renovated Galerie d’Apollon and the Salle des États (where the Mona Lisa is displayed) will be entered and exited through separate doors. Special signs indicate recommended itineraries, which visitors will be asked to follow strictly at peak times.

Visitors will be able to explore 45,000 m2 of the palace and discover over 32,000 artworks, from the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa to the lesser-known decorative arts of the Middle Ages and the garden statuary of some of the most grand residences of 17th-century France. Rooms in the following sections will be open: Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities; introduction to Islamic art; Italian and Northern European sculptures; Italian, Spanish, and English paintings; 19th-century French painting masterpieces; French Crown Jewels; Napoleon III Apartments; decorative arts in the Middle Ages and under Louis XIV; and French sculptures from the 17th to the 19th century.

Some collections, on the other hand, will not be accessible: French sculptures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance; decorative arts during the Renaissance, and in the 18th and 19th century; arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas; lower level of the Islamic art department; and level 2 of the French and Northern European painting collections.

For health and safety reasons, some changes have been made to the services on offer. The cloakroom will remain closed, meaning that motorcycle helmets, suitcases and large bags will no longer be allowed. Pushchairs and wheelchairs, on the other hand, will be available but will be cleaned after each use. Audio guides will be available for rent as of July 15. The book and gift shop will open on July 6 and the cafés and restaurants in the museum will also reopen in turn.

From July until September, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day except Tuesdays.

To support independent tour guides, the museum has decided to allow groups of up to 25 people. However, in order to respect social distancing measures, they will be required to use headsets and microphones.

The “Advent of the Artist” exhibition in the Petite Galerie has been extended until July 5, 2021. The family-oriented exhibition, conceived as part of this year’s Renaissance series, is a fantastic way for visitors of all ages to discover some of the greatest artists featured in the Louvre. A virtual tour of the exhibition is also available here.

To welcome people back, the museum will be offering free short tours around the permanent collections from July 8 until September 20, 2020 (European Heritage Days). They will take 20 minutes and are intended for both individuals and families (8 starting times per day: 10 a.m. / 10:30 a.m. / 11 a.m. / 11:30 a.m. / 2 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. / 3 p.m. / 3:30 p.m.; 23,000 spaces available).

Every Wednesday and Friday from July 8 until August 28, the Louvre will also be running a series of free tours for groups participating in the French Government’s holiday learning program for kids (9 groups per day, starting times: 10:30 a.m. / 1:30 p.m. / 3:30 p.m.; 3000 spaces).

As always, all visitors under the age of 18 and EU residents under the age of 26 are entitled to free admission. A full list of those entitled to free admission can be found online (40% of visitors visit the museum for free).

The Musée du Louvre-Lens reopened its park and Galerie du Temps on June 3 and the “Black Suns” exhibition on June 10.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi reopened on June 24 and has extended its “Furusiyya: the Art of Chivalry between East and West” exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyen Âge and the Musée du Louvre. It explores the links between Furusiyya in the East and chivalry in the West, and the development of distinct practices in the Islamic East and the Christian West.

The Musée du Louvre has extended most of the 520 short-term loan contracts made prior to lockdown. The majority of the loans are on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as part of the “Mesopotamia” exhibition, which was previously shown at the Louvre-Lens (150 loans from the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities). Another 50 items are on loan to museums in Italy, 8 of which are in Rome for an exhibition dedicated to Raphael. In France, long-term loans continue to museums in Montauban, Besançon, Grenoble, Giverny, Lyon and Niort.

There are also another 35,000 artworks that are on long-term loan to museums across France—as many artworks as are displayed in the Musée du Louvre itself!

After the success of the Leonardo exhibition last winter, and thanks to European partners, the Renaissance season at the Louvre will resume this fall.

The “Body and Soul: Sculpture in Italy from Donatello to Michelangelo” exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Castello Sforzesco Museum in Milan, will now take place from October 22, 2020, until January 18, 2021. It will focus on the exploration of the expression and emotions of the human figure, which was core to the work of the leading sculptors of the time and led to a defining moment in the history of Renaissance sculpture. The exhibition will be presented in Milan in spring 2021.

The “Albrecht Altdorfer, a German Renaissance Master” exhibition, organized in close collaboration with the Albertina Museum in Vienna, will now be held from October 1, 2020, until January 4, 2021. It explores the work of this painter, draftsman and printmaker who was active in Regensburg. Despite being a major artist of the German Renaissance, he is less renowned than other masters of his generation, such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach.

At the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, the “Romantic Dual: Delacroix’s Fascination for The Giaour by Lord Byron” exhibition, organized in collaboration with colleagues in Draguignan, will run from November 18, 2020, until March 8, 2021. It will present the fruit of the encounter between the master painter and the great writer who recounts a time when Europe was infatuated by the independence of Greece. Lord Byron’s poem The Giaour was a source of fascination not only for Delacroix but also for many other artists, including Hector Berlioz, Ary Scheffer and Alexandre Dumas. It was illustrated in the all of arts (painting, theatre, music, etc.) right up until the 20th century. After the Louvre, the exhibition will be shown in Draguignan.

The Musée du Louvre’s 2021 program will be dedicated to archeology. It will begin with an exhibition in spring (April 21–August 23, 2021) on relations between Paris and Greece 200 years ago, coinciding with Greece’s anniversary of its independence – 1821 was also the year that the Venus de Milo entered the Louvre’s collections. And in fall 2021, the “Pharaohs of Two Lands: Africa under the Kings of Napata” will delve into the vast Napata kingdom that was located in the north of modern-day Sudan in the 8th century BC (October 27, 2021–February 7, 2022), the release added.

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