The Louvre cemented its position as the world's most-visited museum with a record 8.8 million visitors last year to the Paris home of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and other masterpieces.
The Louvre had a five per cent increase in visitors in 2011, after three years in a row in which about 8.5 million people had visited the museum, it said in a statement.
The museum said it enjoyed "a strong return of American visits and a more marked presence of visitors from emerging countries".
Visitors from abroad accounted for 66 per cent of the museum's attendees, led by tourists from the United States, followed by Brazil, Italy, Australia and China.
The number of visitors to French museums is expected to have grown overall by more than five per cent last year to about 27 million, French heritage officials said last week.
According to a survey by London-based The Art Newspaper, the second most-visited museum in 2010 was the British Museum, with 5.8 million visitors, followed by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art with 5.2 million.