The Musée du Louvre had a record 10.2 million visitors in 2018—an increase of 25% in comparison with 2017. No other museum in the world has ever equaled this figure. The Louvre’s previous record of 9.7 million dates from 2012, the year that saw the inauguration of the Department of Islamic Art and the presentation of exhibitions on Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.
The recovery of tourism in France—specially in Paris—boosted visitor attendance in 2018, as did the flagship exhibition “Delacroix (1798–1863).” Elsewhere in the world, interest in the Louvre was bolstered by the Louvre Abu Dhabi (which recently celebrated its first anniversary), and by Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s “Apes**t” video, with its tribute to some of the museum’s greatest artworks.
In 2019, the Louvre is launching free and festive new events called “Saturday Night Openings,” to be held on the first Saturday of every month.
2018 saw a significant rise in the number of foreign visitors. Mostly from the United States, China, the E.U. countries (especially Spain, Germany, Italy and the U.K.) and Brazil, they represent almost three-quarters of total visitor numbers.
The Louvre also continues to be popular with the French public, drawing over 2.5 million French visitors in 2018—a sharp increase in comparison with 2017.
School groups are also returning to the Louvre in large numbers. The museum had some 565,000 school visitors in 2018, what can be explained by the resumption of school outings and the quality of the museum’s arts and culture education policy (especially the activities available in the Petite Galerie).
The Louvre prides itself on its popularity with young people: more than half its visitors are under 30 years old, and almost a fifth are under 18.