Paris, 6 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The Louvre, which since 1996 has offered free access to its collections on the first Sunday of every month throughout the year, has announced its intention to stop this initiative during the high season between April and September.
The museum explained: “The rise in visitor numbers and the museum’s unique position concerning the type of visitors (70% of visitors are foreign) have resulted in the phenomenon of hyper-attendance (30,000 to 38,000 visitors on every free Sunday).”
Whilst “the number of first-time visitors was much lower on free Sundays, the overall level of foreign visitors has risen considerably, the tourist agencies having profited from this free initiative by organising a large number of visits on these dates”, highlights the museum. They add: “This hyper-attendance had a negative impact on visitor satisfaction and on the working conditions of museum employees.”
The association Le Louvre pour tous (the Louvre for everyone) yesterday launched an internet petition against this latest decision. In addition, it is opposed to the one-euro rise in ticket prices, which was put into place 1 July 2013.