The Louvre, one of the most famous attractions in Paris—and really, all of France—has finally reopened its doors after an extended hiatus.
The Louvre has been closed for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic. As France gradually reduces pandemic-related restrictions, however, the world-famous museum has finally reopened its doors to visitors.
“We bought tickets as soon as they announced the reopening. I missed it a lot,” Brigitte de la Tousche, one of the first to visit the museum after its reopening, told French publication EFE.
The Louvre is the home of many of the world’s most iconic pieces of art, including Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, and of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
The Musee d’Orsay, another of France’s most famous attractions, has also reopened its doors, once again giving visitors the chance to witness the work of legendary artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Édouard Manet.
The reopening of these museums is part of French President Emanuel Macron’s four-part plan to remove all pandemic-related restrictions within the country.
The first stage of the plan took affect on May 3, when secondary-school and high-school students returned to in-person learning and the longstanding ban on on domestic travel was lifted.
“We have taken on the responsibility of the priority on education and the strategy of living with the virus, including with high numbers of infections, higher than those of our neighbors,” Macron said.
The second stage of the plan began on May 19, when France’s cafes and restaurants were allowed to resume outdoor dining service, and cultural attractions like the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were allowed to open their doors.
On June 9, the plan will continue, as cafes and restaurants will be allowed to resume indoor service, and events of up to 5000 people will be allowed. Foreign visitors will also be welcomed back, providing they can provide a pass sanitaire — or health pass.
“The health pass should not be mandatory for access to everyday things such as restaurants, theatres and cinemas or to go see friends,” Macron said. “But for places with big crowds, such as stadiums, festivals, trade fairs or exhibitions, it would be absurd not to use it”.
The final stage of the plan will take affect on June 30, when all remaining restrictions, including curfews, are lifted—though night clubs will still remained closed.