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Old 06-09-2019, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bonzer View Post
Posting prompted me to poke around to see what the latest news on the ticketing was.

Seems they're solving the problem of how to include the Mona Lisa, while still accommodating those who just want a selfie in front it, by not separating the temporary exhibition from the rest of the collection. In other words, rather than charge extra to those visitors who want to see the special exhibition, as is normal, anyone who gets into the building will be able to then just go round it.
However, as a crowd control measure, they're requiring that everyone visiting the museum for the duration will have to advance book a ticket with a specified entry time, with quotas on the numbers. This is in contrast to the normal situation whereby most visitors queue, sometimes in immensely lengthy queues, to get in on the day. Numbers aside, their argument is that this will eliminate most of that queuing.

Tickets go on sale online on the 18th of this month. It's unclear to me whether that'll be all slots through to February, or whether they'll release them in batches of dates.

Is this a good idea? The obvious danger is that a nuanced and scholarly exhibition gets overrun by those who wouldn't otherwise bother with it (though that's not necessarily all bad). Optimistically, my past experience in the Louvre is that most of the scrum around the Mona Lisa show no interest in any of the other Leonardo paintings just around the corner. They also apparently used the same system with their Vermeer exhibition, so it's not an entirely untried experiment.
I'd also be surprised if this means that it entirely sells out, as the likes of Leonardo at the Court of Milan very much did in London in 2011-2. Even if the Louvre's usual footfall is predominately tourists, some days will normally be quieter or busier than others. But I'd still suggest booking as soon as the day/slot that suits you becomes available.
That's almost certainly not the case. The Louvre's own press release only speaks of timed slots for the exhibition. They've done that before. The only innovation is that this time the exhibition tickets must be bought in advance.

It can't possibly be that every visitor to the Louvre will have a timed slot for the exhibition. Even allowing for the fact that this will be on over the winter months, the number of visitors the Louvre will be getting each day will be several times that of the daily attendance at any exhibition that the Louvre has ever staged. Or that of any other exhibition that any other museum will stage this year. So the only way that it would be at all practical to allow all visitors access to the exhibition, even with timed slots, would be if they drastically restricted the numbers visiting the rest of the museum. Why would they do that? That would transform a sure-fire moneyspinner into a major loss of revenue.