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Louvre reopens after four-month closing due to coronavirus

EU reopening its borders, but not to Americans
EU reopening its borders, but not to American... 01:55

Paris — The Mona Lisa is back in business.

Paris' Louvre Museum, which houses the world's most famous portrait, reopened Monday after a four-month coronavirus lockdown.

Face masks are a must and the number of visitors will be limited, with reservations required.

About 70% of the giant museum - 484,000 square feet of space, or the equivalent of 230 tennis courts - housing 30,000 of the Louvre's vast trove of works is again accessible to visitors starved of art in lockdown.

"It's very emotional for all the teams that have prepared this reopening," said Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum director.

The Louvre museum reopens in Paris
Visitors on line on July 6, 2020 in front of the Louvre Pyramid in Paris as the museum reopens its doors to the public after four month closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS

The bulk of visitors to what was the world's most-visited museum before the pandemic used to come from overseas, led by travelers from the United States.

Americans are still barred from the European Union, which is gradually reopening its borders. The Louvre is hoping the reopening will attract visitors from closer to home, including the Paris region, but is bracing for a plunge in numbers.

Martinez said the museum was expecting just 7,000 visitors on the reopening day.

Before the pandemic, as many as 50,000 people per day toured the Louvre in the busiest summer months.

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