[ With permission the present post is largely based on this press release. ]
The Louvre, the world’s largest art museum, recently announced the exciting news that for the first time ever, its entire collection is available online, whether works are on display in its museum in Paris, on long-term loan in other French institutions, or in storage.
Designed for both researchers and curious art lovers, the collections.louvre.fr database includes works from the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, sculptures from the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens, and ‘MNR’ (Musées Nationaux Récupération, or National Museums Recuperation) works recovered after WWII and entrusted to the Louvre until they can be returned to their legitimate owners.
The site offers several ways to delve into the collections: simple or advanced searches, search by curatorial department, and themed albums. An interactive map helps visitors prepare or extend their visit and allows them to explore the museum room by room. Updated regularly by museum experts, the database will continue to grow and reflect advances in research.
‘Today, the Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known’, says Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre. ‘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’.