Make yourself at home at the Louvre.
One winner (and their lucky plus-one) will get to spend a night in the Louvre among priceless masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo as the grand prize in a contest hosted by Airbnb and the Musee du Louvre in Paris.
The contest coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid (the large glass installation and its three smaller pyramids by architect I.M. Pei) and is part of the promotion behind Airbnb’s “Night@“ franchise of exclusive overnight experiences.
Contestants must be 18 and have a valid passport or travel visa for Paris from April 28 to May 2 this year. They must also have a registered Airbnb account. Requirements include writing an 800-character pitch for why they would be the Mona Lisa’s “perfect guest.” The deadline is April 12, and the winner will be picked on April 19.
This luxe night in the museum basically recreates Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “APES**T” music video, which featured the king and queen of hip-hop dancing in the deserted museum at night. A record 10.2 million people visited the Louvre in 2018, which the museum credited in part to the Carters’ viral video; it has racked up more than 165 million views since it was released last year.
Rather than elbowing through throngs of tourists to try deciphering the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile, the lucky guests can view the masterpiece reclined on a Parisian lounge sofa while sipping a Renaissance-inspired aperitif and listening to French music on vinyl records. They’ll take the same private VIP tour that the Obamas and the Carters have taken.
The next stop is a feast in a pop-up dining room before the Venus de Milo, with dishes inspired by the goddess of love and beauty, before listening to an acoustic concert in Napoleon III’s lavish apartments. They’ll then spend the night in a “mini pyramid” set up beneath the Louvre’s iconic glass Pyramid, before waking up to a Parisian breakfast in bed.
“We know that many people would love the opportunity to wander alone at night through the Louvre and we want this to be a magical and unforgettable experience,” said the museum’s deputy managing director Anne-Laure Béatrix in a statement. “With Airbnb’s partnership, we hope to encourage more people to discover how truly accessible and inspiring the wonders of art can be. “
Previous “Night@“ contests have included an evening spent in “Dracula’s Castle” in the Transylvania region of Romania, where the brave B&B winners rolled up in a horse-drawn carriage and enjoyed a candlelit dinner in the grand dining room modeled after a similar dinner scene in Bran Stoker’s vampire novel.
But those who don’t win this once-in-a-lifetime Louvre experience can still sign up for a series of new exclusive Airbnb events at the museum beginning in May, which will include a series of Airbnb concerts played by emerging French artists in the museum’s Café Richelieu, as well as exclusive visits beginning in September that will feature a scaled-down version of the VIP tour. More will be announced over the next few weeks.
Airbnb puts the cost of its grand prize VIP package at 6,500 euros (a little more than $7,300). Or fine art lovers can book a private, 90-minute tour for four people for $34,000. Regular admission starts at $17 at the museum, or $19 to buy tickets in advance online, which include a line-skipping quick entry to the museum in less than 30 minutes. Admission is free for all visitors on the first Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., and on Bastille Day July 14.