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Mona Lisa in times of COVID

After being closed for several months amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Louvre Museum has once again opened its doors. This was the longest period of time the museum has been closed since World War II and it represented a €40 million drop in revenue since it normally welcomes an average of 30,000 visitors per day. Nowadays the entrance capacity has been shrunk to welcome no more than 10,000 visitors per day, and it only sold 7,000 tickets on its first day back. We must keep in mind that an estimated 75% of the Louvre's tickets in 2018 were purchased by international visitors.

The visitor carrying capacity is not the only adaptation to the Pandemic by the world-famous museum. One-third of the museum remains closed, including the galleries devoted to the arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, as well as the lower level of the Islamic galleries. Face masks are obligatory for all. Tickets must be reserved online with a specific entry time. Social-distancing signs and hand-sanitizing stations are placed in almost every room, juxtaposing the classical artworks around them. Visitors must follow a one-way tour throughout the museum to avoid bottlenecks and avoid large congregations.

On our visit to rediscover one of our favorite places in Paris, we were eager to experience the Louvre without the normal summertime crowds. We were especially curious to see how DaVinci's 'Mona Lisa' has been adapted. Being one of the most iconic paintings in history, the Gioconda's mysterious smile has become on

e of the city's most coveted photo spots. Normally, a massive crowd of people surrounds the painting from every angle, holding out their smartphones with a frozen smile to take their 'selfie'. Now, almost everyone who enjoys seeing the painting in person also sn

aps a photo of it but the experience is very different in times of COVID.

As you can see in our photos, there is a large tabloid sign at the entrance of the room detailing all the pandemic safety measures at the entrance of the line. The delineated line space covers most of the gallery space and is marked with blue distance dots on the floor. Every visitor politely followed the rules and we all advanced from one blue dot unto the next with patience and a meter distance from each other. The time it took for the person at the front to take a 'selfie' marked the tempo at which the line advanced. Is a 'selfie' still good if wearing a facemask? Most visitors seemed to think so, perhaps it humorously adds extra mystery to the number of smiles photographed? We did see a few visitors take off their masks to take their portraits next to the DaVinci's masterpiece, but they were met with disapproval as most of the crowd shook their heads. However, no apparent punishment came their way.

If you wish to prepare your visit to the Louvre at times of Covid you can find the new adapted itinerary that has been designed for this special times HERE

Choose your Flexible tickets (cancellable up to 24 hours before visit date) HERE

We wish you a 'bonne visite'!

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