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The Louvre Just Put Its Entire Art Collection Online. For Free.

The impressive haul can be viewed by smartphone, tablet or desktop.

The Louvre Guillaume Meurice/Unsplash

The pandemic may have forced both culture vultures and casual museum-goers alike to stay away from their favorite institutions. But the Louvre has come up with a tres bien way to bring art back to the masses.

The world’s most visited museum, which is located in the lively 1st Arrondissement in Paris, has put its entire collection online, so the world’s art lovers can view the works remotely at no cost.

In a statement shared Friday, the French museum announced that its new Collections Database will bring more than 480,000 artworks online for the first time. The site, which can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or desktop, comprises pieces from the museum’s eight departments that run the gamut from Renaissance sculptures to Egyptian antiquities.

The Louvre's Collections Database

The Louvre’s Collections Database.  The Louvre

Art buffs can pore over these comprehensive collections through simple or advanced searches and browse entries by curatorial department or themed albums, such as Masterpieces of the Louvre. This last includes showstoppers like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, to name but a few. There is also an interactive map that enables visitors to explore the Louvre room by room. Furthermore, the database will be updated regularly by museum experts to ensure the Louvre’s latest additions remain at the world’s fingertips.

“Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum’s president and director, in a statement. “For the first time, anyone can access the entire collection of works from a computer or smartphone for free, whether they are on display in the museum, on loan, even long-term, or in storage.”

Mona Lisa

Forget queuing eons to see the Mona Lisa, click to the Louvre’s new database to see it online instead.  Mika Baumeister

In addition to the new Collections Database, the Louvre has revamped its website to better support the museum as it develops more digital content. It’s a smart move by the Lourve: While the museum has been shut IRL since last October, the website garnered some 21 million visits in 2020. Traffic is only poised to grow with the museum still closed for long-planned renovations.

“The Louvre’s stunning cultural heritage is all now just a click away!” Martinez added. “I am sure that this digital content is going to further inspire people to come to the Louvre to discover the collections in person.”

At the very least, it’ll fill that pyramid-shaped void while we patiently wait for the museum to reopen.

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