Louvre-Lens – A Regional Branch of the Louvre Museum in Paris

Louvre Museum Tour
Louvre Museum Regional Branch

The Louvre museum tour starts from 09:00 am in the morning and goes until 06:00 pm in the evening every day except on Tuesdays. However, if you reside elsewhere and cannot beat the Parisian traffic, you could go to Louvre-Lens and discover the artifacts actually displayed on the original Louvre museum in Paris. This way, those on a month-long Paris tour can go to Louvre-Lens, which is located in Lens city, Pas-de-Calais province, to have more fun.

The artifacts are being lent to Louvre-Lens on a medium to long-term basis. The Pas-de-Calais province has more than 30,000 inhabitants and is one of the densely inhabited regions in Paris. The province resides 200 kilometers to the north of Paris city.

The Parisian museum is a renowned one and at times tourists find it daunting to skip the line especially when professional travel guides are not involved. According to Louvre museum officials, “Not content merely to receive visitors, the Louvre often engages in public outreach, in France in particular. The opening, on December 4, 2012, of the Louvre Lens in northern France is a case in point.”

French Politician and ex-Minister of Culture and Communication, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, and ex-director of Louvre Museum, Henri Loyrette, had jointly announced plans to create Louvre-Lens in 2003. The then president of Nord-Pas-de-Calais province, Daniel Percheron, had also shown interests in the developments and voiced to provide support to both parties. Yet, it took a visit from Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the then French Prime Minister in 2004, for Lens city to win the exclusive rights to host the regional branch of the Louvre museum this side of Paris.

Below are some interesting facts about Louvre-Lens:

  • The French government preordained that the regional branch of Louvre museum would likely invite more tourists from Europe. Nations Belgium, UK, and Germany borders the Louvre-Lens.
  • Amsterdam is a three-hour drive away from Louvre-Lens, Paris two, Brussels 1½ hours, Calais shy below an hour, and Lille half an hour.
  • The chosen place was an abandoned mining area belonging to 1960’s and one that spanned 49 acres of mining site.
  • Louvre-Lens now partakes in month-long art exhibitions such as the ones delighting tourists on a Parisian Louvre museum tour even today.

More than 200 artworks will be displayed in the coming 5 years in Louvre-Lens. The Louvre-Lens loans artworks from the Louvre museum and the artworks will remain in Louvre-Lens until completion of La Galerie du Temps (French for Gallery of Time).