Louvre named most popular museum in 2017

The landmark of Paris regained its position from 2015, and was closely followed by the National Museum of China in Beijing

The Louvre is back. With more than 8.1 million visitors last year the major monument of the City of Love has regained its position as the most popular museum on Earth.

According to the 12th annual Theme Index and Museum Index, which compares museum visits around the globe, the venerable museum featuring masterpieces such as the Venus de Milo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa reflects the recovery of tourism to Paris in 2017.

With more than 8.1 million visitors Louvre has regained its position of the most popular museum on Earth — Alessandro Colle / Shutterstock
With more than 8.1 million visitors the Louvre has regained its position as the most popular museum on Earth – Alessandro Colle / Shutterstock

“In 2017 tourism recovered in Paris, which had been beset the two prior years by bad weather and possible security fears. This recovery in tourism numbers and the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting were the likely drivers of the increase in attendance at the Louvre of 9.5 per cent, restoring it to its former position of the top-attended museum in the world,” the Theme Index and Museum Index said in a report.

The Louvre was closely followed by National Museum of China in Beijing that ranked number one in 2016. More than 8 million people visited the institution in 2017 which underlines the significant growth of tourism in the region. More than a third of the 20 most popular museums in the world are located in China.

8 million people that visited National Museum of China in Beigin underline the growth of tourism in Asia — Shutterstock
8 million people visited National Museum of China in Beigin, underlining the growth of tourism in Asia – Shutterstock

“Museums in Asia recorded the fastest growth in the 2017 Museum Index, at over 11 per cent year-on-year. Chinese museums dominated our Museum Index for this region, with seven of the Top 20 museums located in China and the newly opened Chengdu Museum entering the Index for the first time with 3 million visitors,” the report said.

With both the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art having 7 million visitors in 2017, brought third place to the United States.

 National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C ranked third as wells as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — Kamira / Shutterstock
The National Air and Space Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art ranked third – Kamira / Shutterstock

Globally, the index suggests a growth of 0.2 per cent in the visits of the top 20 world’s museums in 2017. Together the museums examined welcomed 108 million visitors during the year.  

World’s most popular museums in 2017

  1. Louvre, Paris, France

  2. National Museum of China, Beijing, China

  3. National Air and Space Museum, Washington, United States

  4. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States

  5. Vatican Museums, Vatican City

  6. Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai, China

  7. National Museum of Natural History, Washington, United States

  8. British Museum, London, United Kingdom

  9. Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom

  10. National Gallery of Art, Washington, United States

  11. National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

  12. American Museum of Natural History, New York, United States

  13. National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

  14. Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom

  15. State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

  16. China Science Technology Museum, Beijing, China

  17. Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

  18. National Museum of American History, Washington, United States

  19. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

  20. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France