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Mona Lisa is back as Louvre reopens after 4 months

Last updated on: July 07, 2020 09:13 IST
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The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, has reopened.

IMAGE: Visitors queue in front of the Louvre Pyramid designed by Chinese-born US architect Ieoh Ming Pei in Paris as the museum reopens its doors to the public after almost 4-month closure due to the coronavirus disease outbreak in France. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The museum opened on Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the 'Mona Lisa' without the usual throngs.

 

Soon after opening, photos showed an orderly line of people waiting for their glimpse of the portrait.

IMAGE: Visitors, wearing protective face masks, take a selfie with the Mona Lisa in the background at the Louvre museum in Paris. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Anyone wanting to visit the Louvre, which shut its doors back in March as the Covid-19 pandemic locked down Paris, will be required to pre-book a time slot.

Inside, face masks are compulsory and social distancing of at least one metre will be enforced.

IMAGE: Visitors were given access to most of the exhibits at the museums. However, face masks are compulsory and no snacks or cloakrooms were available. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible.

But galleries in which social distancing is more difficult, about a third of the total, will remain off-limits and visitor numbers were capped at 500 per half hour in a bid to reduce contact between people and lower coronavirus transmission risk.

IMAGE: Social distancing norms will be enforced at the museum. The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The museum will not get any anywhere near the 9.6 million visitors it hosted last year -- down from a record 10 million in 2018. Nearly three-quarters of its visitors in a normal year are from abroad.

IMAGE: The museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (£36 million) due to the lockdown. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The Louvre  upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the world's most-followed museum on Instagram with over four million followers.

 

IMAGE: Visitors wearing protective face masks line up to enter the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters
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