Entertainment & Arts

Beyoncé and Jay-Z help boost Louvre visitors in 2018

Beyoncé and Jay-Z Image copyright Universal Music
Image caption Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Everything Is Love album was launched with a video shot in the Louvre

A Beyoncé and Jay-Z music video helped the Louvre in Paris increase its visitors to a record 10.2 million in 2018.

The Louvre also credited the large increase in visitors to its Delacroix show - the museum's most popular exhibition on record.

An upswing in foreign visitors to the French capital was another contributory factor to the 26% rise in admissions.

Tate Modern was the most visited UK museum, according to The Art Newspaper.

Top ten most popular art galleries and museums

By number of visitors last year

AttractionVisitors in 2018Change ▲/▼
Musee du Louvre, Paris10,200,000-
National Museum of China8,610,092-
Metropolitan Museum, New York*6,953,927-
Vatican Museums6,756,186-
Tate Modern, London5,868,562▲1
British Museum5,820,000▼1
National Gallery, London5,735,831▲1
National Gallery of Art, USA4,404,212▼1
State Hermitage, St Petersburg4,220,000▲1
Victoria and Albert, London3,967,566▲2
* Not including the Met Breuer, but does include the Met Cloisters
Source: The Art Newspaper

The Thameside gallery knocked the British Museum off the top spot, a position it had held for the previous nine years.

London's Victoria and Albert museum also reported a record year, with 3.9 million visitors.

Last year it dropped to sixth in the rankings, while UK museum and exhibition figures overall were 5% down from their highpoint in 2014.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption New portraits of the Obamas were a big draw to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Across the Atlantic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York staged the two most popular exhibitions in the world in 2018.

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, a show that mixed religious artworks with haute couture, was seen by nearly 1.7 million people.

The second most popular exhibition in 2018, which attracted more than 700,000 visitors, was Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer.

Image copyright V&A
Image caption The Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A is proving popular this year

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC attracted more than 2.3 million visitors last year, a surge of 1 million compared with 2017.

The institution has largely attributed the rise to the unveiling of two portraits of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald respectively.

Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z launched their Everything Is Love album last year with a six-minute video shot in the Louvre by director Ricky Saiz.

The Art Newspaper's annual visitor figures survey highlights global trends across the museum sector.

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