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Paris' Louvre attracts record visitor numbers with the help of Beyoncé

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Visitors take pictures of paintings at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, December 3, 2018. Picture taken December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The world's most popular museum, the Paris Louvre, received over 10 million visitors in 2018, a record which it partly attributed Thursday to a Beyonce video shot against the backdrop of the Mona Lisa and other famous works.


Some 10.2 million people visited the museum last year, a 25 percent increase over 2017, which its president Jean-Luc Martinez also linked to a stunning tourism recovery in Paris after a slump caused by a spate of terror attacks.

"For the first time in its history, and I think for the first time in the history of museums, more than ten million visitors visited the Louvre in 2018," Jean-Luc Martinez, President and CEO of the Louvre, said on Thursday.

In 2017, the Louvre was followed by the National Museum of China with 8 million visitors, followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (7.3).

According to Martinez, the record "is driven by the recovery of international tourism in Paris" after a 30 percent drop in attendance in recent years due to the attacks.

But Martinez also gave some of the credit to pop power couple Beyonce and Jay Z, who shot the video for their hit "Apeshit" in the galleries of the former royal palace.

It is also partly explained by the work carried out over the past two years to increase the museum's capacity.

"We created a new baggage storage facility and a new ticket office. And we also developed a new reception area for groups, allowing us to better accommodate more people," explains Martinez.

The total cost of the works was nearly €60 million, financed largely by the money paid under the agreement with the Abu Dhabi Louvre, which was inaugurated more than a year ago, he said.

The introduction of online sales also reduced waiting times, attracting more visitors and spreading traffic throughout the day.