A conservator at the museum since 1997 and a specialist in Greek art, Martinez has been at the helm of the institution since 2013. In his first five years, he has undertaken a dizzying array of projects.

The Louvre The Louvre. Photo Sean Mungur.

Could you imagine yourself supervising a museum that welcomed 8.1 million visitors in 2017, is the home of countless artworks, and has expanded internationally? It sounds like a challenge, and Jean-Luc Martinez has taken it on with success, facing some new challenges along the way.

The Louvre The Louvre. Photo Paul Dufour.

Let’s start with Martinez’s mission statement when he took up the position in 2013: “make the Louvre into a more generous, accessible museum”. To do so, a major renovation of the reception lobby under I.M Pei’s famous Pyramid has been recently completed. New spaces for the understanding of art have been created: the Pavillon de l’Horloge guides visitors through the history of the Louvre, while the Petite Gallerie is dedicated to the art aficionado aged 5 to 15.

The Louvre The Louvre. ARR.

Several high-profile exhibitions were also held. In Spring 2017, “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” drew in 325,000 visitors. There was a darker side to that success though, as many aspiring visitors complained about the booking system that made it virtually impossible to visit the show in the first weeks. In opposition to his predecessor, Henri de Loyrette, he discontinued contemporary art exhibitions at the Louvre.

The Louvre The Louvre. Photo Jace Grandinetti.

Last but not least, Martinez promoted the expansion of the Museum. He oversaw the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in November 2017, a project that had suffered from controversy and delays. The Louvre-Lens, an antenna of the museum in the North of France celebrated its five years and three million visitors in 2017.

The Louvre The Louvre. Photo Chris Karidis.

Here’s to the next five years!