The pandemic may have forced both culture vultures and casual museum visitors to stay away from their favorite institutions. But the Louvre imagined a very good way to bring art back to as many people as possible.
The most visited museum in the world, located in the bustling 1st arrondissement of Paris, has put its entire collection online, so art lovers everywhere can view the works remotely at no cost.
In a statement shared on Friday, the French museum announced that its new collections database will bring more than 480,000 works of art online for the first time. The site, accessible via smartphone, tablet or computer, includes pieces from the museum’s eight departments that run the gamut from sculpture from the Renaissance to Egyptian antiquities.
Art lovers can dig into these comprehensive collections with simple or advanced searches, and browse entries by curatorial department or by thematic albums, such as Masterpieces from the Louvre. The latter includes showstoppers like the mona-lisa and Venus of Milo, to name a few. An interactive map also allows visitors to discover the Louvre room by room. Additionally, the database will be updated regularly by museum experts to ensure that the latest from the Louvre remains within reach of the world.
“Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the lesser-known ones,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the museum, in a press release. “For the first time, everyone can access the entire collection of works free of charge from a computer or smartphone, whether they are on display at the museum, on loan, even long-term, or on deposit.
In addition to the new collections database, the Louvre has revamped its website to better support the museum as it develops more digital content. It’s a smart move by Lourve: while the museum has been closed IRL since last October, the website garnered some 21 million visits in 2020. Traffic is only growing as the museum is still closed for planned renovations of long time.
“The magnificent cultural heritage of the Louvre is now just a click away!” Martinez added. “I’m sure this digital content will further entice people to come to the Louvre to experience the collections in person.”
At the very least, it will fill that pyramid-shaped void while we patiently wait for the museum to reopen.