Paris' Louvre Museum is open, but there are very few visitors.  (photo by Lisa Bryant)
Paris' Louvre Museum is open, but there are very few visitors. (photo by Lisa Bryant)

The Louvre, Paris' famous and the world's most visited museum, partly reopened Monday, after being on lockdown for 16 weeks due to the spread of COVID-19.   

The museum has lost more than $45 million in ticket sales in nearly four months, according to its director Jean-Luc Martinez, and may continue to have reduced visitation for a few more years, as the world adapts to the virus. 

The Louvre’s most famous works of art, like "Mona Lisa" and its big antiquities collection will be accessible, but a third of its galleries where social distancing is more difficult to observe, will remain shut.   

However, no selfies will be allowed in front of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, and visitors are required to stand on marked spots on the floor. 

About 70 percent of the Louvre's 9.6 million visitors last year were foreigners, but the situation is much different this year. 

The museum is hoping to have more French visitors to fill the gap, as France is trying to counter its elitist image ahead of the Paris Olympics to be held in four years.