Back in late March, we reported that the Louvre had maintained its coveted position as the world’s most popular museum for the second time in as many years. But while their visitors keep flocking to their front doors in endless droves, and kids and teachers now eager to get in for free, thus further driving up the count, the Louvre is simultaneously starting to get very nervous about the future. Reason being, following the past year and the half of a collecting streak all gone right, with many sizable donations of important work and aid being given to support purchases, they’ve created something of “an illusion of financial security” (certainly not a boom at all, but not the selling off pieces of their collection to help pay the bills as many other museums are having to). The concern is that if their recent streak of lucky breaks comes to a halt, they might find they don’t have the money/support to continue their business-as-usual acquiring and everything will slow way, way down, meaning the museum might have to begin really struggling with the realities of the economy, which is a major downer, even if you are really popular. Here’s a bit:
How long this pace, which is modest for a museum of the Louvre’s size, can be sustained is the question that haunts [Director Henri Loyrette and the curators. Art acquisitions are only a fraction of the budget of an institution that has been deeply transformed since the appointment of its director in 2001. Its elaborate financial structure, fine-tuned over the last five years, suddenly looks too precarious for comfort.