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Record-breaking year for the Louvre

France 24, Jan 5

Not only is the Louvre the most visited museum in the world, but it welcomed more than ten million visitors in 2018 - an unprecedented figure for an international museum, according to its management.

"For the first time in its history, and I think for the first time in the history of museums, more than ten million visitors visited the Louvre in 2018," Jean-Luc Martinez, President and CEO of the Louvre, said on Thursday.

With 10.2 million visitors last year, the Louvre recorded a 25 percent increase compared to 2017 (8.1 million) and broke its own attendance record (9.7 million in 2012).

In 2017, the Louvre was followed by the National Museum of China with 8 million visitors, followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (7.3).

According to Martinez, the record "is driven by the recovery of international tourism in Paris" after a 30 percent drop in attendance in recent years due to the attacks.It is also partly explained by the work carried out over the past two years to increase the museum's capacity.

"We created a new baggage storage facility and a new ticket office. And we also developed a new reception area for groups, allowing us to better accommodate more people," explains Martinez.

The total cost of the works was nearly €60 million, financed largely by the money paid under the agreement with the Abu Dhabi Louvre, which was inaugurated more than a year ago, he said.

The introduction of online sales also reduced waiting times, attracting more visitors and spreading traffic throughout the day.

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