Enriching the national collections is one of the Louvre’s core missions. Given the vast scope of its collections and the Louvre’s status as France’s leading museum, acquiring works is an important scientific and symbolic event. Acquired works are State property, and as such are inalienable and imprescriptible. Because it requires the use of public funds, acquiring works is a great responsibility.
Works are chosen after review by a 24-member Acquisitions Committee. The Committee meets once a month to examine all projects – both those subject to payment and those offered to the museum for free – put forward by the eight curatorial departments of the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix. The Committee expresses its opinion on the works, which are presented physically. Beyond a certain financial limit, the Artistic Council of National Museums is called upon to give its opinion.
Funding for acquisitions is provided by a percentage of revenue collected from entry fees to the permanent collections; it is therefore directly linked to museum attendance. Beyond this particular budget, gifts in the form of donations and bequests, payments in kind and revenues from patrons (individuals, Friends of the Louvre groups, corporate sponsors) also provide financial resources for acquiring artworks.
Cover image : Blaise Alexandre Desgoffe (1830–1901), Still Life with Artefacts from the Louvre and the Musée des Souverains: Rock Crystal Vase, Agate Vase by Benvenuto Cellini, Female Head, Book of Hours of Mary Stuart, Ten-Bead Rosary of Louis XVI and Fan of Marie-Antoinette