The Louvre shattered its visitor record in 2018, with 10.2 million people coming to view the museum’s 35,000 art pieces. These numbers are consistent with a larger trend, wherein Paris tourism as a whole rebounded in 2018 — following a dip in 2015 and 2017 due to terrorist attacks. According to Jean-Luc Martinez, president and CEO of the Louvre, the museum’s latest numbers are the result of “the recovery of international tourism in Paris.”

Depending on who you talk to, however, the Louvre’s visitor numbers are all thanks to one person: Beyoncé. In June, the museum served as the backdrop for her and Jay-Z’s “APESH*T” music video, inspiring a Beyoncé-themed tour of the Louvre. This celebrity association likely drew some non-art enthusiasts to the museum, and contributed to the 25 percent visitor increase over 2018.

The museum has also invested over $68 million in renovations in the past few years, making ticket lines more efficient; online timed ticket sales were also introduced this year to create a smoother experience for visitors. “We have created a new baggage storage facility and a new ticket office,” said Martinez. “And we also developed a new reception area for groups, allowing us to better accommodate more people.” Or, you know, maybe it’s just Beyoncé.

H/T: Condé Nast Traveler

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