The Louvre museum in Paris said on Friday it has put nearly half a million items from its collection online for the public to visit for free.
As part of a major revamp of its online presence, the world’s most visited museum has created a new database of 482,000 items on collections.louvre.fr with more than three-quarters already tagged with information and images.
It comes after a year of pandemic-related shutdowns that has seen an explosion in visits to its main website, louvre.fr, which has also been significantly revamped.
“It is a step that has been in the works for several years with the goal of serving both the general public and researchers. Accessibility is at the heart of our mission,” said President and Director Jean-Luc Martinez.
The new database includes not only items on display to the public in the museum, but also items in storage, including at its new, state-of-the-art facility in Lievin, northern France.
The platform also includes the Delacroix museum, which is run by the Louvre, as well as sculptures from the neighboring gardens of the Tuileries and works recovered from Germany since the end of the war in 1945 waiting to be returned to the families from which they were looted. .
The museum announced earlier this month that it would step up its efforts to restore items stolen from Jewish families by the Nazi regime.
He is working to complete the verification of the 13,943 items acquired between 1933 and 1945, a process that he hopes to complete within five years, which will be followed by investigations of works acquired in subsequent decades.
Martínez estimated that about one percent of the portraits in the collections were looted.
“The Louvre has nothing to hide and the reputational risk is enormous,” he said. “When the next generations want to know where these collections come from, how do we react? Doing the historical work and establishing the facts.”
jlv / er / jz