The Paris Louvre said on Friday that it has added nearly half a million items from its online collection for the public to visit for free.
As part of a major modernization of its online presence, the world’s most visited museum has created a new database of 482,000 articles on collection.louvre.fr with more than three quarters already marked with information and images.
It comes after a year of pandemic-related shutdowns that have seen an explosion in visits to its main website, louvre.fr, which has also undergone a major makeover.
“It is a step that has been prepared for several years in order to serve the public as well as researchers. Accessibility is the core of our mission,” said President and CEO Jean-Luc Martinez.
The new database contains not only objects that are public in the museum but also those that are stored, including in its new state-of-the-art facility in Lievin in northern France.
The platform also includes the Delacroix Museum, run by the Louvre, as well as sculptures from the nearby Tuileries and works recovered from Germany since the end of the war in 1945 waiting to be restored to the families from which they were looted.
The museum announced earlier this month that it will intensify its efforts to recover items looted from Jewish families by the Nazi regime.
It is working to complete the verification of all 13,943 objects acquired between 1933 and 1945, a process it hopes to complete within five years, followed by investigations into works acquired in recent decades.
Martinez estimated that about one percent of the portraits in the collections were looted.
“The Louvre has nothing to hide and reputation if reputation is huge,” he said. “When the next generations want to know where these collections came from, how do we react? By doing the historical work and establishing facts.”