The museum is closed

In line with measures taken by the French government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Musée du Louvre and Musée National Eugène Delacroix will remain closed up until and including May 18.

The Louvre in France and around the worldThe Louvre in France and around the world | The Louvre-Lens

The Louvre-Lens

The Louvre-Lens museum first opened its doors in December 2012. In addition to its primary goal of making the Louvre’s national collections accessible to all, the Louvre-Lens symbolises the Louvre’s regional development strategy and the decentralization policy of the French Ministry of Culture.

Why Lens?

In 2003, the Louvre decided to create a new, off-site museum – an ‘away-from-base’ Louvre, where an innovative approach could be developed from scratch. The enthusiasm of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (now joined by the Hauts-de-France) and local councillors convinced us that Lens was the ideal location. The inauguration of the Louvre-Lens in 2012 symbolised the fulfilment of a dream: to revitalise the northern French mining basin. It also represented a new responsibility for our age-old museum: committing to a region’s socio-economic revival through culture and education.

The museum

The Louvre-Lens was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa from the Japanese architecture studio Sanaa. The museum’s main exhibition space, the Galerie du Temps, is a 3,000 m² open gallery displaying over 200 artworks on loan from the Louvre in Paris; the masterpieces in question, dating from the 4th millennium BC to the mid-19th century, provide a comprehensive and regularly renewed overview of the history of art and humanity. The Louvre lends more works to the Louvre-Lens than to any other museum: since 2012, the loan of over 3,000 artworks has significantly broadened access to the Paris museum’s collections.

A hit!

With over 4 million visitors since it opened, the Louvre-Lens has become the second most popular museum outside Paris – the first being the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, which is set in a more densely populated and touristic area.


Crédits photo

© SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima et Ryue Nishizawa – IMREY CULBERT / Celia Imrey et Tim Culbert – MOSBACH PAYSAGISTE / Catherine Mosbach
© Hisao Suzuki