It's the world's most visited museum and houses one of the most famous paintings on the planet - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa - and those who dream of visiting the Musée du Louvre in Paris can now do so virtually. The richness of the Louvre collections can be seen on a new platform that brings together all of the museum’s artworks in one place, and a new website that is more user-friendly and immersive has also been launched.
For the first time ever, the entire Louvre collection is available online, whether works are on display in the museum, in storage or on long-term loan in other French institutions. Designed for both researchers and curious art lovers, more than 482,000 entries can be seen for free, including works from the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix and sculptures from the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens. There are also works from Musées Nationaux Récupération, which were recovered after WWII and entrusted to the Louvre until they can be returned to their legitimate owners.
The site offers several ways to delve into the collections including simple or advanced searches, entries by curatorial department or by themed albums. An interactive map helps visitors prepare or extend their visit and allows them to explore the museum room by room. Updated regularly by museum experts, the database will continue to grow and reflect advances in research.
The second way to admire artworks from the museum is via its new website. Divided into three main sections and focusing on works in the collections and the sumptuous settings they're displayed in, the site invites visitors to appreciate the former palace as they move from room to room. Available in French, English, Spanish and Chinese, the site can be visited on tablets and computers but is intended primarily for use on smartphones. It is designed to stay in sync with the Louvre as the museum develops more digital content.
"The Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known," says Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Musée du Louvre. "The Louvre’s stunning cultural heritage is all now just a click away. I am sure that this digital content is going to further inspire people to come to the Louvre to discover the collections in person." The new Louvre website is available here, and the new Louvre collections website can be accessed here.