The Louvre has just broken a new record, with a huge 10.2 million people visiting the museum last year.
And it’s attributing this surge in popularity to Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The record-breaking numbers are a 25 per cent increase on 2017 numbers, beating the museum’s previous record of 9.7 million in 2012.
The museum reckons it owes its recent success to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Apes**t” music video, which was filmed in the Louvre and showcased some of its most iconic works.
The video, much like its name, went apesh*t online, racking up almost 150,000,000 views on YouTube since its release in June.
The Louvre even set up a tour inspired by the clip.
The growth mainly came from visitors hailing from the US, China, Europe and Brazil with three-quarters of visitors coming from abroad but it also saw a sharp increase in French visitors, with more than 2.5 million making the pilgrimage.
The museum also attributes the increase to the recovery of tourism in France after a drop in visits following terrorist attacks which killed 130 in its capital back in 2015.
“I’m delighted that the Louvre is so popular,” said the Louvre’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 recent changes we have made and are continuing to implement (clearer signage, translation of texts, etc.) have improved the quality of visitor reception.
“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.”
To allow everyone, especially local people, to visit the Louvre in the best possible conditions, the museum is launching new, free and festive events called “Saturday Night Openings” on the first Saturday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.
These twelve-night openings will replace the free openings on the first Sunday of the month from October to March when the museum’s usual admission rates will be applied.