The historic Louvre museum is the world’s most highly visited museum, welcoming over eight million visitors each year. It has one of the highest levels of international recognition among all French monuments and is extremely active in its support of film productions. Following the filming of scenes for the blockbuster “The Da Vinci Code” in 2004, the Louvre has experienced exponential growth in the number of productions shot at the museum. Variety talked to Joelle Cinq-Fraix, head of location services at the Louvre, during the Il-de-France Location Expo.
The Louvre is the world’s most highly visited museum. Why has it remained one of the most popular film locations in Paris in recent years?
We have worked hard for that. It’s a decision taken by the Louvre Museum. Five years ago we chose to work to receive productions that would like to use the Louvre as a location. It’s a commitment. We can’t accept every production that would like to film in the Louvre, but we try to. We study all applications we receive.
Have the number of film productions in the Louvre increased over the last 10 years?
Yes, particularly in our gardens, the Carrousel Garden and the Tuileries Gardens. (It’s) a fantastic place for shooting and has huge parking.
What are the main challenges of organizing a film shoot at the Louvre?
The Museum’s schedule. Our first priority is our visitors. For filming we never close a room which should be open to the public. Feature films can only be received on Tuesday and at night. Tuesday nights are also our work-in-progress moments. And we need a lot of work in progress to always be able to open all our rooms every day to our visitors.
“The Da Vinci Code” was filmed at the Louvre in 2004. What other memorable movies have filmed scenes at the museum recently?
In 2009 we loved (working) with Luc Besson and his crew for “Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec”. They came back in August 2013 for “Lucy” and some shooting around le Domaine du Louvre et des Tuileries. We have received Doug Liman for a special filming moment, Alexander Soukorov, Tsai-Ming Liang and Raja Gosnell. We’re not crazy about the idea of identifying a specific memorable movie. All the films we receive are memorable movies for us. And we remember memorable moments of filming.
How have film shoots affected the Louvre in terms of the number of visitors and the museum’s popularity?
The number of our visitors is increasing every year, we cannot know if some films help us more than others. But we want to be seen on screens all round the world. It’s one of our ways to exist in everyone’s dream world.
What are your objectives for 2014?
To receive films from Lodge Kerrigan, Solveig Anspach, Ridley Scott and Edouard Deluc.