The Louvre in Paris has been revealed as the most visited art museum of 2012, according to the Art Newspaper. The iconic museum welcomed 9.7 million people in 2012, up one million on the previous year.
The museum, home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, beat New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which came in second, and three London based museums which came in third, fourth and fifth. This is the fifth consecutive year the French art museum has top the list of most visited venues, and visitor numbers to the Parisian attraction have increased steadily since 2007. The Art Newspaper findings also revealed that the most popular exhibition of 2012 was a show of Dutch Old Masters at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Art Museum. At its peak 10,500 people visited the museum a day to marvel at masterpieces such as Vermeer’s world famous 1665 painting Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The publication also found that British museums had an “excellent” year in 2012, believed to be aided by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Tate Modern moved up to fourth place in the list with 5.3 million visitors, many of which visited the gallery to see the Damien Hirst retrospective and the Tanks installation. Speaking on the success of the Tate modern last year Alex Beard, deputy director at the Tate said that "it has been an extraordinary year at Tate Modern, opening the world's first museum galleries permanently dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works alongside an outstanding exhibition programme which has undoubtedly fuelled the increase in visitors."