Paris Louvre museum reopens Monday after crippling losses

Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018 of the Louvre in Paris, almost three-quarters were tourists. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 04 July 2020

Paris Louvre museum reopens Monday after crippling losses

  • The Louvre in Paris has been closed since March 13
  • Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists

PARIS: The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.
The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led “to losses of over 40 million euros,” its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.
Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.
“We have lost 80 percent of our public. Seventy-five percent of our visitors were foreigners,” Martinez said.
“We will at best see 20 to 30 percent of our numbers recorded last summer — between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors daily at the most,” he said.
Visitors will have to wear masks, there will be no snacks or cloakrooms available and the public will have to follow a guided path through the museum.
Positions have been marked in front of the Mona Lisa — where tourists routinely pose for selfies — to ensure social distancing.
France contributes $112 million to the Louvre’s $222.5 million annual budget and the museum must make up the rest, according to experts.
Seventy percent of the museum’s public areas — or 45,000 square meters (about 485,000 square feet) — will be open to the public.
After the success of its blockbuster Leonardo exhibition which closed earlier this year, the Louvre said its two exhibitions scheduled for spring and then postponed would now take place in the autumn.
These are on Italian sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo and the renaissance German master Albrecht Altdorfer.
The Louvre has upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the most followed museum in the world on Instagram with over four million followers.
Martinez is planning a revamp of the museum ahead of 2024, when Paris hosts the Olympic Games.


Indian restaurant offers ‘COVID curry’ to scared customers

Updated 03 August 2020

Indian restaurant offers ‘COVID curry’ to scared customers

  • India has had 1.8 million cases, the third-highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil

JODPHUR, India: An Indian restaurant is hoping to win back customers afraid of eating out during the pandemic with a special “COVID Curry” and “Mask Naans.”
“This has been a really tough time for us and for our entire sector,” Yash Solanki, owner of the vegetarian Vedic eatery in the western city of Jodphur, said.
The fried vegetable balls have been shaped to look like the “crowned” coronavirus, while the accompanying breads look like surgical masks.
Solanki said that they had also added, and advertised, that their COVID curry had extra Indian herbs and spices that are good for people’s health.
“Even with recently relaxed curbs, the fear still dominates. People are still very reluctant to eat out,” Solanki said.
Almost 800 people are dying daily from coronavirus in the world’s second-most populous nation, with around 50,000 new infections reported every 24 hours.
The country has had 1.8 million cases, the third-highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil, and more than 38,000 deaths.