Thanks to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Louvre Set a New Record With 10 Million Visitors in 2018

Getting a pic in front of the Mona Lisa is now harder than ever.

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It took Beyoncé and Jay-Z a decade to build a relationship strong enough with the Louvre to allow them to film their now iconic “Apes**t” video at the museum, but that has officially paid off for the institution. Not only has the museum’s grounds been seen over 147,000,000 times in the music video alone since its June 2018 release, but the Louvre also managed to attract a record number of visitors last year.

In 2018, 10.2 million people passed through the Paris museum’s doors, which was up from the 9.7 million record number of people who visited in 2012, according to Artnet. It wasn’t just American fans of Beyoncé and Jay-Z who visited, it was also people from countries like China, and European Union states including Spain, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. Apparently, there was even an uptick in visits from French natives, as well, who made up 25 percent of the visiting population.

Rome’s Colosseum must really be regretting declining Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s filming request right now. Shortly after the “Apes*t” video premiered, it was revealed that the power couple were turned away from the historic grounds. Apparently, they were hoping to film another visual project there, perhaps from their Everything Is Love* joint album, but they didn’t give the Colosseum a long enough lead time. (And it was already booked by Italian scientist Alberto Angela on the date that they wanted to film inside.)

As for how their visit to the Louvre to film “Apes**t” came about, a spokesperson from the museum previously revealed that “Beyoncé and Jay-Z visited the Louvre four times in the last 10 years. During their last visit in May 2018, they explained their idea of filming. The deadlines were very tight but the Louvre was quickly convinced because the synopsis showed a real attachment to the museum and its beloved artworks.”

They’ve also recontextualized many of the more famous pieces in the Louvre, which Jay Z’s “Apes*t” stylist recently confirmed to W. “I think people really got that art was imitating life,” June Ambrose said. “Seeing them in all these beautiful, artistic fashions, you realized they’re the Mona Lisa. They became those pieces too.” Getting a picture in front of the real Mona Lisa,* however, is now harder than ever thanks to them.