Masterworks vs. the Masses

Visitors from all over are lining up at the Louvre, the Vatican and the Uffizi museums, posing problems for institutions trying to balance accessibility with art preservation.

If large crowds stress you out (as they do for us) you might want to rethink your itinerary to skip over some of the major museums that have previously been thought of as attractions you must see.  The Vatican Museum, The Louvre, the Uffizi – they’re all the same with crowds wrapping around the building waiting for hours just to get a glimpse at the famed paintings you’ve heard so much about in your art history class and, oh yeah, maybe snap a selfie or two.  The Louvre, itself, saw 9.3 million visitors last year.  Perhaps you feel as though these museums will make your vacations feel a bit more sophisticated or cultured – that may be true, but what is also true is that we’re all collectively damaging these irreplaceable works of art by shouldering through these museums like sardines.

Some of these museums recognize that the huge crowds are a problem – and not just for our stress levels – and are taking precautions to ensure preservation.  Timed tickets and newer climate stabilizing air conditioning units help, but is it enough?  

Experts are critical of the crowds in the museums but seem unsure of the next step.  Don’t be surprised if you travel to one of these museums in the next few years and can’t get in due to an imposed cap on the amount of people allowed to enter.  Just a word of caution.

Read the source article at The New York Times