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Most visited museum in the world: Louvre Museum takes 2022 crown

The most visited museum in the world has been revealed, and it’s Paris’ Louvre Museum

In new figures released by the Art Newspaper, the French museum has taken the annual most-visited museum crown yet again. It welcomed 7,726,321 visitors in 2022.

The Louvre’s 2022 visitor figure was up a whopping 173% up on the 2021 figure. But it was down 20% on the 9.6 million people who visited in 2019, highlighting how even this powerhouse museum is yet to fully recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The glass pyramid of the Louvre lit up at night
Louvre Museum pyramid

Despite this, the Louvre’s new(ish) Director Laurence des Cars has decided to limit numbers to ensure an improved visitor experience. Numbers will now be restricted to 30,000 a day. This will mean that it should never exceed around 8.5 million visitors a year, which would represent a big drop from the peak of over 10 million who visited in 2018.

The Vatican Museums — which came second in the most visited museums list — was way off the pace, with just over 5 million visitors. That’s over 2.5 million fewer than the French art museum. The British Museum came third with nearly 4.1 million visitors — although it should be noted that London’s Natural History Museum was the most visited museum in the UK last year, but as it’s a science-based museum, it doesn’t feature on the Art Newspaper’s art-focused list.

The Louvre was joined in the top 10 most visited museums list by other French institutions: the Musée d’Orsay came sixth with 3.3 million visitors, just 10% down on 2019. The Centre Pompidou came ninth with 3 million, just 8% down. Elsewhere in the French capital, The Fondation Louis Vuitton bucked the global trend by seeing its visitor numbers actually go above its pre-covid figures. In 2022 they were up by a third, from just over a million in 2019 to almost 1.4 million last year.

Overall, the Art Newspaper said that 141 million visits were made to the world’s top 100 art museums in 2022, which is double the number recorded the previous year. But again, this was way down on the 230 million visits enjoyed in 2019.

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