Crazy Louvre Stats (+ Others)

 Le Louvre, photographed by Jennifer Greco
Le Louvre, photographed by Jennifer Greco and published in www.ChezLoulou.blogspot.com

As promised in the last post regarding The Art Newspaper (with a slight interruption discussing the distracting former director of the Met, Philippe de Montebello), below are the top 15 of a list of 100 museums that comprise the world’s most visited museums list for 2011.

So if the Louvre has nearly 9 million visitors a year that comes to approximately 30,000 visitors a day (it’s closed on Tuesdays and bank holidays). According to a Carol Vogel profile in the NY Times on Henri Loyrette the Louvre’s attendance was up 67% during Loyrette’s tenure (which started in 2001, after 18 years as the head of the Musée d’Orsay) until 2009 when the profile was published.

In this article Loyrette’s quoted as saying that 80% of the attendees only go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. This point alone is good cause to have started THATLou, don’t you think? To try to get the people off the beaten track… That poor marble floor should be as deep as the English trenches with approximately 7.2 million people tromping along, blinders on, with eyes only for the Mona Lisa. The Louvre has signs all over the place with tattered photocopies of da Vinci’s painting, I guess for those who don’t even know what it’s called?

Last spring I met one of the heads of the American Friends of the Louvre (AFL) who used to work at the Louvre. She told me that one morning when entering the museum at about 9.30 AM from the Porte des Lions  entrance (along the Seine, at the western end of Denon) there were already people leaving the museum! Which, given the size of the endless Italian Galeries (which Denon houses), means they didn’t even really bother to look at their checked-off-been-there-done-that Mona Lisa! No matter how swiftly they were walking — it takes a good while to get from the main entrance to the Porte des Lions exit at the farthest southwest sortie (as seen below).

Porte des Lions – SouthWestern wing of the Louvre, photographed by Jennifer Greco
Porte des Lions – SouthWestern wing of the Louvre, photographed by Jennifer Greco and published in www.ChezLoulou.blogspot.com

Anyway, back to our generalised stats… If you’re interested in the top-rated exhibitions of 2011, please see this hyperlink to The Art Newspaper’s April issue. It’s quite interesting, but be warned if you’re reading this on a phone it’s a heavy PDF. As for the promised top 15 museum attendence records for 2011, they’re listed below. At one point I may expand on this list and start to mark physical sizes of some museums. I believe the largest museum physically is the Hermitage, then probably the Louvre with its 65,000m². But these are just me guessing. I’ll also hopefully hone in on some museum expansions, for instance of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo and his tasteful addition to the Museo del Prado in 2007.

And for all those crazy-stats-addicts among you, here’s another: Apparently there are more than 2000 people who work at the Louvre. The size of a small town!

Rank Museum City Country Visitor count
1 Musée du Louvre Paris France 8,880,000
2 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York United States 6,004,254
3 British Museum London United Kingdom 5,848,534
4 National Gallery London United Kingdom 5,253,216
5 Tate Modern London United Kingdom 4,802,287
6 National Gallery of Art Washington United States 4,392,252
7 National Palace Museum Taipei Taiwan 3,849,577
8 Centre Pompidou Paris France 3,613,076
9 National Museum of Korea Seoul South Korea 3,239,549
10 Musée d’Orsay Paris France 3,154,000
11 Museo del Prado Madrid Spain 2,911,767
12 State Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg Russia 2,879,686
13 Museum of Modern Art New York United States 2,814,746
14 Victoria & Albert Museum London United Kingdom 2,789,400
15 Museo Reina Sofía Madrid Spain 2,705,529
A special thanks to Jennifer Greco for her incredible eye, crafty camera-work and lovely blog, Chez Loulou, where she posted these photos with a generous thatlou plug.