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Louvre Still World's Most Popular Museum

Old Mar 9th, 2010, 08:03 AM
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Louvre Still World's Most Popular Museum

Art Newspaper annually compiles the list of the world's most popular museums, by admissions and surprise surprise Paris' Louvre takes top honors with a whopping 8.5 million annual visitors.
Thus there should be no surprise at the perpetual long lines to get in (grab a Paris Museum Pass to bypass the ticket lines)

#2 Museum - the British Museum in London with 5.9 million
#3 National Art Gallery Washington DC 5.0 million

Oddly enough the British Museum is free whereas the Louvre costs a pretty penny- if the Louvre were free how many visitors would it have (well it is free on the first Sunday of each month.

As many of the foreign tourists at least only come to the Louvre it seems to see its most famous works of art- most hugely the Mona Lisa - the crowds congregate in these few places

I have walked thru many galleries in the Louvre on occasion and they are sparsely filled but when you see the mob scene ahead you know you are approaching the Mona Lisa and other immensely famous pictures.

But don't let the crowds deter you -yeh ogle Mona for a bit but don't miss the many many other parts of the museum that it seems many tourists ignore.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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<The Musée du Louvre was the world’s most visited museum in 2008 with 8.5 million attendees, reports Bloomberg via the Art Newspaper.
The British Museum came in second with 5.93 million visitors. The rankings were based on figures received by the Art Newspaper from the museums themselves.
In 2007, the Paris museum also came in first place, although the British Museum was ranked fourth.
Other well attended museums in 2008 include the National Gallery in Washington, D.C, with 4.96 million visitors, the Tate Modern in London with 4.95 million visitors, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with 4.82 million visitors, and the Vatican Museums in Rome with 4.44 million visitors.

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The highest-ranked Asian museum was Tokyo's National Art Center, number 13 with 2.47 million visitors. But Japan managed to snag the top spot for the highest number of visitors to an individual exhibition, with an average of 17,926 people per day seeing the “60th Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures” at the Nara National Museum in Tokyo.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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It is obviously due to that tunnel under the Channel..all those folks from Britain rushing over for their culture fix
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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The Chunnel, you say!
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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Hmm, thats interesting. My perception of the Vatican was that it was very, very crowded and we needed to stand in a long line to get in. The British Museum seems a lot more relaxed and I've never stood in a queue. The only crowd is around the Rosetta stone. I'd be surprised if the British Museum was larger than the Vatican, so I wonder why the difference in the crush.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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I wish the Louvre were not so popular, because I never manage to enjoy it anymore. I have had stunning moments of solitude surrounded by splendor in places like the Egyptian Museum of Cairo, the National Museum of Jakarta, or the Museum of the Revolution in Havana. Why does everybody want to go to the same place?
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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"so I wonder why the difference in the crush."

The BM has no ticket barrier. Or the Vatican's airport-style security.

The BM itself, though, is infinitely more crowded than the Vatican - though limit yourself to the Sistine Chapel, and it might not look that way. Compare the Vatican's glorious and empty museums of early Christian art, though, to the scrum round the Rosetta Stone and you see just how much emptier the Vatican really is.

It's ALWAYS bottlenecks that cause queues. Eliminate the bottlenecks - and voila: no queue.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Here is a full list from the previous year:

Glasgow? Glasgow? Glasgow?

The Art Newspaper has released their annual list of the most popular art museums in the world, with the Louvre in Paris coming in first place with an estimated 8,300,000 visitors.

The most popular exhibition was at the Tokyo National Museum in Japan which attracted more than 10,000 people each day. It was more of a single painting than an exhibition, which makes the figure even more remarkable. Leonardo da Vinci’s painting "Annunciation" was loaned by the Uffizi gallery in Florence.

"For the fourth year running, the Tokyo National Museum tops the list. Tokyo routinely produces enormous visitor figures, thanks to a combination of vast exhibition spaces and a 35 million-strong conurbation. But “Leonardo” was even higher than 2005’s record-breaking attendance for “Hokusai” at the same museum, which averaged 9,436 a day." Art Newspaper

Here's the top 20 most popular art museums in the world compiled by Art Newspaper. The list below includes the number of visitors, name of the museum, and the city that the museum is located in.

8,300,000 - Louvre Paris
5,509,425 - Centre Pompidou Paris
5,191,840 - Tate Modern London
4,837,878 - British Museum London
4,547,353 - Metropolitan Museum of Art New York
4,518,413 - National Gallery of Art Washington
4,310,083 - Vatican Museums Vatican City
4,159,485 - National Gallery London
3,166,509 - Musée d’Orsay Paris
2,652,924 - Museo Nacional del Prado Madrid
2,650,551 - National Palace Museum Taipei
2,435,300 - Victoria and Albert Museum London
2,395,075 - State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg
2,232,475 - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow
2,219,554 - Museum of Modern Art New York
2,133,149 - Field Museum Chicago
1,772,255 - Tokyo National Museum Tokyo
1,674,607 - CaxiaForum Barcelona Barcelona
1,650,000 - Moscow Kremlin Museums Moscow
1,649,969 - Museum of Fine Arts Houston
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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I've been to all of the top ten, and two of the next ten, but am surprised that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam isn't on the list at all. Are these figures for a year when it was mostly closed for renovations?
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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"I wish the Louvre were not so popular, because I never manage to enjoy it anymore"

Kerouac, if you want some solitude at the Louvre, spend some time amidst all the sarcophagi in that section of the Louvre. In an attempt to leave the Louvre (has a ring to it) a few years ago, Tracy and I became lost in this maze of funeral receptacles. Although never frightened enough to call our mummies, we did eventually walk like an Egyptian in an attempt to rejoin the mass of humanity in other parts of the museum.

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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 03:30 AM
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kayd-figures are from 2008 the article says and yes the Rijksmuseum was mostly closed during that year and still is.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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The Louvre has the whole kit and caboodle in it - pictures, old stuff etc. In Britain we spread it about a bit - pictures in the two tates, the national, national portrait gallery etc, old stuff in the BM, Dinosaurs and plastic whales in the Natural History etc.

I think the Louvre is too big.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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2,232,475 - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow>

Can someone tell me just WHY Glasgow has a museum in the Top 20 and one that attracted about as many visitors as the Victoria & Albert in London?

what's the attraction?
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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2008 was the major Doctor Who exhibition

But away from that the main draw is "Christ of St John of the Cross" and a nice section on Mackintosh. Otherwise it's a typical major regional museum

Personally I prefer the Burrell Collection
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Sorry Doctor Who was 2009
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Sorry Doctor Who was 2009
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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I hate the Louvre as I have a very strong dislike of large art museums that look like warehouses. My favourite art museums are small places like Isabella Stewart Gardner, Frick, Gulbenkian, and Barnes Foundation.

The best museum in Paris is the Musee Rodin, in my opinion.

The Vatican Museum is a crime--all that wonderful art so badly displayed.

Thin
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 06:12 PM
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My favorite area of the Louvre is the 17th c. Dutch area...and it's never very crowded (at least the three times I've been there). Saw the Mona Lisa our first visit...haven't been back to that room since. It's a fine painting, but give me a first-line Vermeer over it any time. Just MHO.

SS
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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I must admit I've never been fond of the Louvre for the same reason as ThinGorjus.

I will admit to having been to 13 of the top 20. Kind of surprised that the Chicago Museum of Art wasn't listed but the Field Museum was. The Chicago Museum of Art has a few of my favorite paintings, including Caillebotte's Paris Street Rainy Day and Seurat's La Grand Jatte.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Louvre

This is from my 2008 trip report, edited somewhat;

We have all seen those zombie movies where the zombies walk en masse, with an arm extended, dragging a foot, eyeball dangling, and dressed in tatters seeking their next victim. This is the scene at Louvre but the walking dead mumble “Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa” as they limp without distraction toward Leonardo’s masterpiece. The sole difference being the extended arm has a digital point and shoot attached at the fingertips. Since I am the last living human yet to see or read “The Da Vinci Code” I am at disadvantage to understand the charm of the painting beyond the painting. I know it has something to do with the unusual trio of Opus Dei, Mary Magdalene, and Tom Hanks.

A friend of a friend who lives in Paris was kind enough to accompany me to lunch and share some of her vast knowledge of the City and the museum. We head for the Louvre. She could see my disdain for I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid. She explains there were a few reasons for his decision. There is an Egyptian obelisk from the Napoleon campaigns nearby so a pyramid is offers archaeological symmetry and the design allows for light to brighten the entrance for the museum. I always think of 20th century pyramids as manifestations of New Age thinking which like all things has become Middle Aged with a glass equivalent of a paunch and unwanted wrinkles. But I.M. Pei is a genius and I have to pay to get in.

The entrance to the Louvre is a wide expanse filled with the frenetic energy of a train terminal at rush hour. The museum itself it is a reminder of the excess that led to the Revolution. This, the greatest repository of art in the world, gallery after gallery, floor after floor so crowded with extraordinary works that they almost touch one another, leaves little time for reflection or enjoyment. The idea is to overwhelm not consider.

The quality and quantity of the Egyptian collection, the Greek and Roman antiquities, and the French classical artists are extraordinary. I photograph the still vibrantly colored terre cotta ceramics of Della Robbia. I forget to visit the Code of Hammurabi.

On the way to the Metro there is a concourse of modern stores. I drown my troubles with milk and dark chocolate bars from Maison du Chocolate. Darker is better.

The following framed post card resides on my desk and fortunately or unfortunately reflect some of my reactions:
http://www.marcelduchamp.net/L.H.O.O.Q.php
__________________________________________________ ____
When asked for an alternative by other posters for the glass pyramid I offered the following which is also edited somewhat:

Just the way flying butresses support walls for large stain glass windows, I assume modern architectural techniques would allow for a brick edifice to allow massive amounts of light in. The brick edifice would not be jarring as the pyramid with regard to its surroundings.

If I were an architect I would see what other materials are permeable for light. It would also be interesting to have Chartres blue or the reds from St, Chapelle on some panels which would cast an interesting glow and bathe the visitors in it. It is after all a grand museum not only dedicated to light but color, composition, and perspective.

And I would have put protected artifacts in the main entrance so it does not look like a train station. And the artifats would also be meeting points as well.
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