These two sites are the culmination of more than two years of work. But “they come at the right time since this health crisis and the closure of museums reveal the expectations of the public”, underlined Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the Louvre, during a video-conference press. The museum site, in 2020, recorded 21 million visits, “and we are followed by 10 million subscribers on social networks “, he recalls. “We can see that there is a real use of these tools beyond what they were originally created for, ie to prepare for the visit.”
The opening of the Liévin conservation center (Pas-de-Calais) was the occasion for dusting, a condition report, taking photographs and updating the files of the works of the collections, he says. The updating of all the data made it possible to put these two new sites online. On the collections site, you can see more than 680,000 photos of 482,000 works, those presented in the museum and also those in reserve, while the old Atlas database only offered the first.
“The Louvre website was over 10 years old and starting to get obsolete,” remarks Jean-Luc Martinez. Today 60% of consultations are carried out on smartphones, he says. The site had to be adapted for this purpose. The new site is more “narrative”, he wants “tell stories”. And then it is now available in four languages, French, English, Spanish and Chinese
The collections site is a database intended for researchers, students, teachers and the general public, indicates Anne-Myrtille Renoux, project manager responsible for the site. It offers in the center of the home page a search engine that leads to notices with several photos of the work, a description, a history of the work, its location as well as a bibliography and a list of exhibitions where it was shown.
Note that the notices, downloadable in PDF format, are freely usable but the photographs, distributed commercially by the Meeting of National Museums, remain subject to rights. By comparison, photos of works in the Metropolitan Museum in New York have been copyright free since 2017.
Further down on the home page, entries by categories (painting, sculpture, textiles …) or by theme, with albums of a few dozen works (masterpieces from the Louvre, portraits, new acquisitions ). At the bottom, an interactive map offers a kind of virtual tour of the museum: it indicates the works located in the different rooms and by clicking on them, you access the notices.
As for the new louvre.fr site, it is more airy, more readable, with more images. “It’s a site where we try as much as possible to open up stories from the Louvre”, announces Dominique de Font-Réaulx, director of mediation and cultural programming at the Louvre museum. Because “the first confinement showed us that there was an appetite for the content, for the story, for the narration and we wanted to nourish these appetites”.
The site opens with a full-width clip with exterior and interior views of the museum, the Mona Lisa and some Venus of Milo. At the top, we find the classic tabs which lead to practical information, which introduce to different rooms of the Louvre, which refer to the collections site, which indicate the exhibitions and other news of the museum. The new site suggests tours, such as the masterpieces of the Louvre, or in the footsteps of Beyonce and Jay-Z who shot a clip at the Louvre in 2018. As for online content, podcasts, concerts, conferences, videos, they are very visible on the home page.
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