Free permanent collections for children under 26 in national museums
Since 4 April 2009, the permanent collections of national museums have been free of charge for young people under the age of 26 who are nationals of the European Union (EU). This measure is part of the policy of cultural democratization conducted by the Ministry of Culture and its institutions, by facilitating access to cultural places for generations whose financial situation may prove fragile.
Why this measure?
Free admission for 18-25 year-olds, extended to all national museums, is part of the priority given to arts and cultural education, which aims to encourage the participation of all children and young people in artistic and cultural life.
Following an experiment on free night-time accommodation conducted in 2008 at the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, the Pompidou Centre and the Quai Branly Museum, several effects were observed on the mobilization of young people under the age of 26, including:
- increasing the number of young people in this age group in museums;
- the attraction effect of free admission for young people unfamiliar with museums.
The results confirmed the incentive of free admission to motivate some young people to visit a museum, sometimes for the first time.
This free measure benefits all young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who regularly reside in a Member State of the European Union or in another State forming part of the European Economic Area.
Some effects of this measure…
In 2019, more than three million young people again benefited from free admission to national museums.
The survey «Listening to visitors» (2019) among visitors to national museums and monuments, allows to update the knowledge of audiences aged 18 to 25 living in the EU. Results confirm data from previous editions (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016): free access to collections played a role in their decision to visit for more than three-quarters of the 18-25 year-olds who benefited from it (almost 80% of 18-25 year-olds live in the EU). As a result, more than a third of the beneficiaries of the free service claim that they would not have come without this measure and more than four out of ten visitors said that it supported their decision. The possibility of free access to the collections of national museums leads young people of this age to go to the museum (for this age group, the search for conviviality strongly orients the practices) and allows them to consider the visit in a more relaxed way (for example close to home and without planning it very upstream).