Starting January 15, it’ll cost you €22 (~$23.68) to elbow your way through the mob and snap that photo of the Mona Lisa (or throw a cake at it in disguise). As the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris argued that the fee increase of €5 (~$5.38) was necessary to maintain and expand free access for select demographics and meet the institution’s rising energy expenditures.

While the Parisian museum’s entry fee has remained at €17 (~$18.63) since 2017, the upcoming price hike is scheduled only months before the city hosts the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, which could likely draw around 16 million tourists throughout the season. The fee increase notice specified that the new entry fee grants visitors access to both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions at the museum.

The Louvre did not immediately respond to Hyperallergic‘s inquiry regarding the percentage of annual revenue made up by admissions and memberships.

Though hotel rates have surged and the Parisian metro tickets are expected to double throughout the duration of the Games, the Louvre’s admissions hike appears to have more to do with a reported 88% increase in energy costs as well as increasing free access slots and dates for students, young adults who reside in the European Union, those on social benefits or with disabilities, and teachers and academics.

According to the institution’s 2022 annual report, 30% of the Louvre’s 7.8 million visitors were French, and 40% of visitors were admitted for free.

Rhea Nayyar (she/her) is a New York-based teaching artist who is passionate about elevating minority perspectives within the academic and editorial spheres of the art world. Rhea received her BFA in Visual...

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