The Louvre Implements New Policy that Requires Visitors to Pre-Book Online
The Louvre, the museum that has earned a reputation for being the world’s most visited institution, has found it necessary to make booked-entry obligatory, as a way of receiving up to 50,000 visitors every day. The decision came after the museum experienced disruptions in July 2019 caused by the so-called “Mona Lisa pandemonium.”
The chaos started at the time when the Mona Lisa was temporarily transferred to the Galerie Médicis, as the Salle des Etats, where the portrait used to hang underwent repainting. Waves of humans surged every few minutes toward the Mona Lisa, all of whom tried to make the most of the few seconds they had by taking selfies in front of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous painting.
Hundreds of tourists voiced exasperation when museum attendants drew back the ropes to halt the next wave of visitors who stood in line to see the famed portrait of the “La Gioconda.” The vast queue, which extended hundreds of meters had already snaked round the Louvre gallery, causing disruptions in the other areas.
As a result of the incident, Vincent Pomarede, the Louvre’s Vice Managing Director said it became evident that instituting a system requiring visitors to book a time slot online, has become essential. Initially, the timed-entry policy was seen as a means of managing the crowd upon Mona Lisa’s return to its original location in October, in time for the celebration Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500th birthday.
However, the growing Mona Lisa queue that peaks during the early afternoon has caused worries that at worst, about 30,000 people crowding in queues daily will prevent other visitors from experiencing viewing pleasure. After all, a Louvre visit for most tourists, includes seeing other treasures making up the museum’s astonishing collection of 18th to 19th century French art.
New Louvre Policy Introduces Obligatory Advance Bookings
The Louvre has made advance bookings obligatory in order to control the growing numbers of daily visitors overcrowding the gallery.
Also seen as a way of helping the struggling museum staff cope with every wave of people entering the institution, only visitors who had booked tickets online are allowed entry. As a result, many who were unaware of the new system have been turned away, in order to avoid the chaos caused by the “Mona Lisa pandemonium” from happening again.
A Louvre spokeswoman said that the reservation system applies to all general admissions. Only the museum’s 60,000-member of the Friends of the Louvre, will be exempt. Although entry remains free for visitors coming from EU member countries under 18 and under 26 years old, they still have to pre-book to get in.
Mssr. Pomarede asserts that other major museums have already made pre-booking mandatory. The Louvre management insists that the new policy
“allows a better flow of visitors and is key to a more comfortable visit”.