Beyoncé and Jay-Z helped the Louvre break a visitor record

The most popular museum in the world broke a new record in 2018 – thanks to a little help from Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

The Louvre in Paris is already one of the most famous and visited museums in the world, but last year saw a record-breaking 10.2 million visitors, a 25% increase from 2017. That beat the museum’s previous record of 9.7 million in 2012 and set a world record as the most visited museum in a year.

Travel News - Central courtyard of Louvre at dusk.
Central courtyard of Louvre at dusk. Image by ©Pete Seaward/Lonely Planet

The Louvre is attributing the boost to the recovery of tourism in France – as well as Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Apes**t” music video, which was filmed in the museum and showed off some of its greatest artworks. The video was watched around the world and helped bring the Louvre back into the spotlight, with the museum even launching a new tour highlighting the works included in the video.

The growth came mainly from international visitors, mostly from the US, China, European Union countries and Brazil. Nearly three-quarters of visitors were from other countries, but more than 2.5 million French visitors came in 2018, which is an increase from 2017.

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iPhone photographing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, one of most popular exhibits in Louvre. Image by ©Pete Seaward/Lonely Planet

“I’m delighted that the Louvre is so popular,” said the museum’s president-director Jean-Luc Martinez in a statement. “Our goal is not so much to attract more visitors as to provide better visiting conditions...The renovation of the infrastructures under the Pyramid and the introduction of time-slot tickets have helped us level out visitor numbers throughout the year and reduce ticket lines outside the museum. So although there are more visitors, everyone can explore the Louvre at their own pace and appreciate the artworks to their heart’s content.”

If you’re wondering what’s next for the busy museum, in 2019, the Louvre is launching free events called “Saturday Night Openings”. They will be held on the first Saturday of every month from 6 to 9.45 pm and will replace the free openings on the first Sunday of the month from October to March.