The Musee du Louvre — the world’s most-attended art museum — has named Jean-Luc Martinez as its new director. Martinez has most recently served as the head of the museum’s department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. He is expected to succeed Henri Loyrette starting April 15.
Martinez’s appointment, which the Paris museum announced this week, was made by French President Francois Hollande. He beat out two other candidates — Sylvie Ramond, director of the Musee des beaux-arts de Lyon, and Laurent le Bon, president of the Centre Pompidou Metz.
The internal hire signals a search for continuity for the famed art institution. A respected archaeologist, Martinez, 49, joined the museum in 1997. A report in Liberation magazine stated that he is fluent in Latin, Greek (ancient and modern), English, German, Spanish, Italian and even speaks a little Japanese.
The Louvre has annual attendance of approximately 10 million visitors, more than any other art museum in the world. Its most famous works include the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci and the “Venus de Milo” statue.
Loyrette served as the museum’s head for 12 years. Under his leadership, the Louvre expanded its geographic reach, creating a satellite location in northern France. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, a costly and delayed project, is scheduled to open in 2015.
Last year, the Louvre opened its new Islamic wing, featuring approximately 2,500 artifacts.