Beyonce and Jay-Z music video helps Louvre break visitor numbers world record in 2018

Emily Nicolle
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The Louvre is now the world's most visited museum (Source: Getty)

The Louvre Museum in Paris has broken the existing ticket office world record, after visitor numbers in 2018 were boosted by a music video filmed there which featured Beyonce Knowles and her husband Jay-Z.

More than 10m people visited the Louvre's galleries of fine art and antiquities last year, topping the previous record of 9.7m set in 2012.

The museum said the figures were a 25 per cent increase on its numbers in 2017, adding that "no other museum in the world has ever equalled this figure".

International pop and rap couple Beyonce and Jay-Z chose the Louvre as the location for their music video 'Apesh*t' in 2018, which featured some of the museum's most popular artworks including the Mona Lisa and The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon.

Widely lauded as a comment on the power of art, issues of race and colonialism, the museum created a special visitors guide based on the video. The Louvre said it "prides itself on its popularity with young people", with more than half of its visitors being under 30 years old.

The recovery of tourism in Paris last year also helped bump up visitor numbers, after terrorist attacks in previous years weighed heavily on tourists travelling to the French capital.

International tourists were more than three quarters of the museum's total visitors last year, predominantly hailing from the US and China, as well as Spain, the UK, Germany and Italy. The French public also made a strong impact on the museum's success, making up over 2.5m of its total visitors in 2018.

The Louvre's president-director Jean-Luc Martinez said he believed recent innovations made to visitor experience, such as clearer signage and translation of texts, had improved the quality of the museum.

"I’m delighted that the Louvre is so popular," he said.

"Our goal is not so much to attract more visitors as to provide better visiting conditions."

The Louvre said it is one of the most followed museums on Instagram and Facebook, and hopes to launch new, free events called 'Saturday Night Openings' on the first Saturday of every month to encourage more visitors outside of peak times.