Museums are capable of coaxing vulnerability, fostering inspiration ... and turning a guided group of 12-15 tourists into a bloodthirsty horde.
I once watched a woman at Saint Petersburg's Winter Palace take a photo of a da Vinci with her iPhone, iPad and digital camera, while elbowing other photo-happy dolts out of the way. At least personal photography is largely outlawed at The Louvre. But the world's most popular museum (10 million visited last year) is overcrowded regardless, meaning any time you spend with its treasured paintings will be more drive-by than Ferris & Friends gaze.
But if you've got a whole ton of money, there's a better way. A program called Family Twist, which curates luxury European experiences, will shut down The Louvre for you for the kingly sum of $34,000.
Family Twist already had a package for those looking for a little solitude on their trip to the Paris museum — they'll stage a treasure hunt for you and the kids at $485 apiece, which lets you skip the line and comes with a private guide — but the full museum shutdown is an off-menu item. According to CNN, the agency first did it few years ago for a Shanghai client who was ready to spend big to have the place to himself.
What to expect? The works. Here's your itinerary:
- Get picked up in a Tesla at 6:30PM
- Enter via the exclusive glass pyramid
- Tour the medieval section
- You're each handed a special copy of a painting, which you're tasked with spotting during the tour
- Spend time with famous works like "Venus di Milo" and "The Coronation of Napoleon"
- Private Da Vinci Code screening (just kidding)
- Watch a hired ballerina dance up the staircase, leading to Greek statue "The Winged Victory of Samothrace"
- Showstopper finish with the "Mona Lisa," where you can spend as much time as you like
Oh, and afterward there's a private riverboat cruise down the Seine with cheese and Champagne. Not. Too. Shabby. If you're good for $8,500, but not the full $34K, recruit a few friends. The tour is open to up to four adults at a time.
For more information, head here.
Main image via Unsplash