Louvre sets another attendance record in 2006
Date: 24 Jan 2007 | | Views: 4213
PARIS. - For the second year in a row, the Louvre Museum in Paris has set an attendance record, drawing more than eight million visitors to its historic halls.
The Paris landmark attracted approximately 8.3 million visitors in 2006, up from the 7.5 million it saw in 2005, the museum said in a statement on Sunday.
The attendance of both French citizens and foreigners has increased steadily over the past few years, Louvre officials said.
The Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and other world-famous artworks, is also believed to be the most frequented museum in the world, they added.
Officials attributed the latest attendance spike to more than a dozen successful temporary exhibits, a popular lecture series staged by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and dynamic, youth-oriented programming on Friday nights, when the museum opens its doors for free to those under the age of 26.
Though officials made no mention of the May 2006 opening of the film The Da Vinci Code in Sunday's statement, in the past, they have said they expected visits from fans of the movie and the Dan Brown novel on which it was based.
In January 2006, Louvre general administrator Didier Selles cited Brown's international bestseller as a factor in the museum's rising attendance.
"There is perhaps a Da Vinci Code effect," Selles said in an interview at the time, adding that he thought it would be even stronger after the film's release.