The French Louvre reopens most of the museum – Without Big Crowds

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The Louvre reopened on Monday after it closed in March due to the coronavirus. But things are far from the status quo.

The most visited museum in the world has implemented new measures, including a mask and an online reservation system only to protect art lovers from the virus.An unintended consequence of these restrictions was an experience devoid of the usual crowds of tourists, who normally reach up to 50,000 people a day.

Freddie Keen, who came from London with friends, told NPR that taking your time to see some of the main attractions at the Louvre is easy.

“It was certainly a much more comfortable experience to see the Mona Lisa without the hundreds of people staring at you and waiting for you to continue,” said Keen.

Floor markers in the State Hall, where the Mona Lisa takes place, have been set up to ensure that guests adhere to a physical distance of at least 3 feet. Visitors should also follow a one-way path through the building. A third of the museum is still closed to the public.

The Louvre said it expected 7,000 people on the first day of its reopening. International tourists represented around 70% of the 9.6 million visitors in 2019.

Museum director Jean-Luc Martinez said he hoped to attract more French tourists this summer due to current travel restrictions.

“We will be at best 20 to 30% lower than last summer,” Martinez told Agence France-Presse, adding that the museum expects between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors a day.

During the four-month closure, the iconic art destination lost an equivalent of $ 45 million in ticket sales this year, said the museum director.

The tourism industry in France may soon receive a much-needed boost. Last week, the European Union lifted travel restrictions on visitors to more than a dozen countries considered to be at low risk for the spread of coronavirus.

Due to the increasing level of viral infections among Americans, the United States was not on the list. The EU has said it will continue to review the situation every two weeks. [Copyright 2020 NPR]

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