The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the art world unlike anything else. Since March 2020, art institutions continue to face the impact of the pandemic. Now, a report has revealed another concrete example of this impact.
The famed Louvre Museum in Paris witnessed a massive drop in attendance in 2020. Compared to the previous year, it saw a 72 per cent drop in the audience this year. A report in Art Newspaper revealed that the museum was opened only for 161 days in 2020, compared to the usual 311 days it is supposed to be open. Due to this, Louvre lost around $110.3 million in revenue. Furthermore, even on the days it remained open, there were restrictions on the number of visitors allowed within the premises. Due to travel restrictions following the COVID-19 outbreak, France (like most countries) saw a fall in international tourists. This too impacted Louvre severely, which depended primarily on international tourists for revenues.
In the end, the Louvre museum only saw around 2.7 million visitors in 2020. Compared to this, it witnessed 9.6 million visitors in 2019. In fact, the blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition that occurred just before the lockdown alone attracted more than a million visitors.
However, it doesn’t seem that the museum was surprised to see this fall in attendance. In fact, Louvre had been predicting such fall ever since the pandemic began. In May, the museum’s director predicted that Louvre might see a 70 per cent less footfall compared to previous years. Jean-Luc Martinez made this prediction on the basis that more than three-quarters of Louvre’s attendees come from foreign countries. However, he also estimates that thing would return to normal by the year 2023.