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The Louvre: A Rich Past, An Ambitious Future
"Open to all since 1793": From the outset, the Louvre has embodied the concept of a truly "universal" institution. Universal in the scope of its collections, it is also universal in its appeal to some 6 million visitors every year: a 21st-century museum rooted in 200 years of innovation.
The principle responsibility of the Louvre is to conserve, protect, restore, and develop France's national art treasures, from the early royal collections to the most recent acquisitions. In carrying out this task, the museum’s scientific and academic staff displays steadfast commitment and universally recognized professionalism.
The priceless artworks housed in the Louvre are held for the benefit of present and future generations. Hence the vital importance of the museum's mission to make these works available to the greatest number of people possible, from France and all over the world. To do this, it is our job to ensure that every visitor enjoys the best facilities possible. But it is also essential to promote cultural access: to do as much as we can to help each visitor to approach, understand, and enjoy the works they have come to see. With this in mind, we are committed to extend the range of information available at the Louvre in languages other than French, to further develop the museum's wide range of educational resources and activities, and to make our buildings and collections more easily accessible—in every sense—to people with disabilities and to new audiences.
The Louvre’s role as an international center for cultural heritage is, I believe, equally important. The museum loans works to over one hundred institutions worldwide every year. In addition, the Louvre has encouraged the creation of the American Friends of the Louvre and the Grand Louvre au Japon: two bodies working to support the museum and promote its activities to their respective publics.