In Brief

Louvre Launches a Free Admission Night to Attract Low-Income and Younger Visitors

Starting January 5, the Louvre will offer free admission on one Saturday night every month, to “democratise” its patronage.

Beyoncé and her dancers in front of Jacques-Louis David’s “Coronation of Napoleon”
Beyoncé and her dancers in front of Jacques-Louis David’s “Coronation of Napoleon” (all screenshots by Hyperallergic via YouTube)

The Louvre Museum will open its galleries free of admission for one Saturday night every month, for an initiative to attract younger and less affluent patrons. As the world’s most-visited museum, the Louvre saw 8.1 million visitors in 2017, but the Parisian institution plans to reinvigorate its visitorship, who, the museum says, is increasingly homogonous. The program intends to draw greater crowds of local visitors from lower-income suburbs of Paris, youth, and families by nixing its €17 (~$19) admission fee. They call the program a “democratisation.”

The first free night at the museum will start with the new year, inaugurating on January 5, 2019. The event, which runs one Saturday a month between 6 pm and 8:45 pm, will have a board game area and reading corner to appeal to a younger crowd and families.

Initially, the museum had launched a program offering free admission on six free Sundays a year, but it worried the program was not inviting enough diversity.

“Working-class visits were not going up,” the museum wrote in a statement. “The number of French visitors coming to the Louvre for the first time was dropping during these free Sundays, while the number of foreign visitors was going up considerably.”

The museum, which was recently home to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s infamous “Apeshit” video, houses iconic masterpieces like the “Mona Lisa,” “Venus de Milo,” and “Liberty Leading the People.”

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