Paris Louvre uploads almost entire art collection for free online

The museum remains closed due to Covid but almost half a million major works can be seen online after a super-modern web revamp. Complete digital tours available.

30 March 2021
By Hannah Thompson

The Louvre museum in Paris has uploaded more than 482,000 works of art online for free, via a new highly-interactive website designed to be used with a touchscreen tablet or smartphone.

Three-quarters of the museum’s collection - and works from the Tuileries Garden and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix - totaling more than 482,000 works, have been uploaded for public viewing onto a digital database on the site. Previously, the website showed “just” 30,000 pieces.

While the museum itself remains closed due to Covid-19, the website has been given a major revamp. It is now available in four languages (French, English, Spanish, and Chinese) and has been designed to be simple to navigate using portable devices.

Image: Louvre.fr / Screenshot

Users can search the site and see good-quality images of the artworks or pieces. The image definition is limited and is not “print quality”, but the photos are high-resolution enough to be viewed well on a screen.

The collection includes shots of famous works such as the Mona Lisa, and the statue of Venus de Milo, plus objects from ancient Egypt, and key pieces of Islamic art.

The database is updated daily, and has grouped some of the pieces into albums, including those acquired by the museum in 2020, and works gathered after World War Two. 

The website also suggests a number of online “tours” to take through the exhibition.

Image: Louvre.fr / Screenshot

Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Musée du Louvre said: “Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least well-known. 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. 

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

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