The Louvre museum reopens its doors after 16-week closure as mask-wearing visitors get a rare chance to see the Mona Lisa without the usual crowds

Slide 1 of 21: The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, has reopened. The museum opened on Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the 'Mona Lisa' without the usual throngs. Several dozen visitors queued outside the vast former palace of France 's kings, eagerly awaiting the opening at 9am (0700 GMT) as the famed museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (£36 million/ $44.9million) due to the lockdown.
Slide 2 of 21: The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible. Pictured, visitors wait to see the Leonardo da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa, in Paris, Monday, July 6.
Slide 3 of 21: But galleries in which social distancing is more difficult, about a third of the total, will remain off-limits and visitor numbers were capped at 500 per half hour in a bid to reduce contact between people and lower coronavirus transmission risk. Visitors admire the oil painting Le Sacre de Napoleon by Jacques Louis David in the Louvre Museum, in Paris, Monday, July 6. Face masks are compulsory and no snacks or cloakrooms were available.
Slide 4 of 21: Visitors wait in the Louvre Museum courtyard prior to visit the museum, in Paris, Monday, July 6.

Slide 5 of 21: Tickets must be bought beforehand online, and were sold out for the first day of reopening after the Louvre's longest closure since World War II. Visitors watch the Leonardo da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa, in Paris, Monday, July 6.
Slide 6 of 21: 'Some 7,000 people have reserved tickets, normally we host about 30,000 people' per day, said museum director Jean-Luc Martinez, who expects tough months and years ahead. The museum will not get any anywhere near the 9.6 million visitors it hosted last year - down from a record 10 million in 2018. Nearly three-quarters of its visitors in a normal year are from abroad.
Slide 7 of 21: For Nicole Lamy, a 21-year-old visiting from Brussels, the limit on ticket sales was 'an 'opportunity to see the Mona Lisa up close and not in a crowd. It's a bit selfish but I think I'm lucky with my first visit to the Louvre.' Pictured, visitors, wearing protective face masks, queue to see the painting 'Mona Lisa' at the Louvre museum in Paris.
Slide 8 of 21: Visitors stand in front of French artist Jean-Louis David's artwork 'The Coronation of Napoleon', at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Slide 9 of 21: Also in the queue was Arzel Bertrand from Maisons-Alfort southeast of Paris, who said he and his friends also came early seeking a more solitary museum experience. 'We thought it was the first day of the reopening, that there might be fewer people than usual, and we wanted to walk around the Louvre without anyone.'

Slide 10 of 21: A guard wearing a protective face mask sits near Leonardo da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa, at the Louvre Museum.
Slide 11 of 21: People also came, however, in a show of cultural solidarity. 'It is very important that cultural establishments can welcome the public because we need it, and they need the public, too, to survive. So we're here for that, too,' said Bertrand.
Slide 12 of 21: Several measures were put in place to allow ticket holders to keep a safe distance from one another.
Slide 13 of 21: Marks on the ground indicated where visitors should stand - including selfie shooters in front of the Mona Lisa - and blue arrows showed the direction of one-way foot traffic, with no about-turns allowed.
Slide 14 of 21: With tourism still at a standstill, the Louvre will seek to attract more French visitors in the coming months. 'We are losing 80 percent of our public,' said Martinez.

Slide 15 of 21: Visitors admire the Le Sacre de Napoleon oil painting by Jacques Louis David, at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, Monday.
Slide 16 of 21: 'We are going to be at best 20 to 30 percent down on last summer - between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors a day,' he estimated. France contributes 100 million euros to the Louvre's 250-million-euro annual budget.
Slide 17 of 21: The Louvre has upped its virtual presence during the lockdown and said it was now the world's most-followed museum on Instagram with over four million followers.
Slide 18 of 21: 'I have missed it enormously,' said Julia Campbell, a French pensioner of Scottish origin who was among the first to visit the reopened museum. 'I usually come twice per month,' she said, and intended to enjoy Monday's relative quiet ambiance to 'stay longer'.
Slide 19 of 21: Visitors wearing protective face masks line up to see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Slide 20 of 21: Visitors, wearing protective face masks, walk in a gallery at the Louvre museum in Paris as the museum reopens its doors to the public after almost 4-month closure due to the coronavirus disease.
Slide 21 of 21: Visitors admire the Leonardo da Vinci's painting Mona Lisa, in Paris, Monday, July 6.
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