Has The Surge Of Visitors to Museums & Galleries Reached A Tipping Point?

Crowds around Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre, . Image © Guia Besana

In an article for the New York Times  examines Masterworks vs. the Masses. From the Louvre in Paris to London’s British Museum, Florence’s Uffizi to the Vatican Museums, the increasing surge of visitors to these international cultural nodes “has turned many museums into crowded, sauna-like spaces.” Balancing everyone’s right to be “nourished” by cultural experiences with protecting and preserving the works of art in question is a very real problem. According to Donadio, ”even when the art is secure, the experience can become irksome.” With some museums seeing annual visitors of up to 6.7 million visitors (British Museum), addressing the issues faced by institutions that are a victim of their own success is becoming more and more pressing. Read the article in full here.

New Department of Islamic Art Opens Tomorrow at the Louvre

Department of Islamic Arts at © Raffaele Cipolletta. Courtesy Mario Bellini Architect(s)

Twenty-four years after the inauguration of I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid, the Musée du Louvre will introduce its second piece of contemporary architecture to the public, tomorrow, on September 22.

The new Department of Islamic Arts is designed by Milanese architect Mario Bellini and his French colleague Rudy Ricciotti, who won the commission through an international competition in 2005. Similar to I.M. Pei, the pair created a naturally lit, subterranean gallery space beneath an undulating, glass roof within the courtyard of the historic Cour Visconti. Continue after the break to learn more.