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Musée du Louvre

A warmer welcome for Americans at the Louvre as some wall texts are translated into English and Spanish

American Express and American Friends of the Louvre are making their mark on the French institution

The Louvre museum has accepted E150,000 ($183,000) from American Express to fund a two-year project to translate the wall texts of 300 of its most popular paintings into English and Spanish. Hitherto the texts were exclusively in French. In another concession to popular demand, the recently formed fundraising body the American Friends of the Louvre, which aims “to support the Louvre in its efforts to improve the visiting conditions of the foreign public, particularly English-speaking visitors”, has been allowed to organise tours of the museum based on US author Dan Brown’s best-selling thriller The Da Vinci code, the plot of which unfolds at the museum. The first tour was led by no less than the director Henri Loyrette. The Louvre only started to seek private funding last year, when a law was changed to enable it to do so. Private sponsors now account for 10% of the museum’s estimated E150 million ($183 million) annual budget.