In 2019, the Louvre in Paris, France shut down after workers walked out due to overcrowding. At the time, the museum was seeing some 30,000 to 40,000 visitors per day. My, what a difference a pandemic makes.
Since Oct. 30, 2020, the museum has been shut down to the public as part of the nation's efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. While its doors are shuttered, the Associated Press (AP) reported, those once overwhelmed museum workers are getting to do something they never thought they'd be able to do: renovate.
"We're taking advantage of the museum's closure to carry out a number of major works, speed up maintenance operations, and start repair works that are difficult to schedule when the museum is operating normally," Laurent le Guedart, the Louvre's Architectural Heritage and Gardens Director, told the AP.
As the AP noted, some 250 museum employees are hard at work adding new security systems, cleaning sculptures, checking inventories, checking over artifacts, reorganizing entrances, and conducting other necessary restorations to areas like the Egyptian Wing and the Grande Galerie. This way, when the museum does finally reopen, it will be like a brand-new experience for visitors.
"When the museum reopens, everything will be perfect for its visitors — this Sleeping Beauty will have had the time to powder her nose," Elisabeth Antoine-Konig, an artifacts department curator, added. "Visitors will be happy to see again these now well-lit rooms with polished floors and remodeled display cases."
For anyone who simply cannot stop daydreaming about their future trip to Paris to see all the gorgeous masterpieces in real life, there are still a few ways to engage with the museum online. Since the early days of the pandemic, the museum has been hard at work curating a rotating collection of educational opportunities for children and adults alike, along with plenty of virtual tours, that will satisfy your lust for travel, for now.
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