Jean-Luc Martinez, the head of the Louvre’s department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, was appointed as the director of the 220-year-old institution on Wednesday.
President François Hollande chose Martinez, 49, over two other candidates, Sylvie Ramond, director of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lyon, and Laurent Le Bon, head of the Centre Pompidou-Metz.
Martinez was called “a great curator who throughout his career has been motivated by a desire to share with the public his passion for art and the fruits of his erudition,” in a statement from Aurélie Filippetti, the culture minister.
An art historian and archaeologist, Martinez is the first archaeologist to rise to the museum's top post since 1962.
He follows Henri Loyrette, 60, who resigned after leading the Louvre since 2001. Loyrette was lauded for doubling annual attendance figures to almost 10 million from 5.1 million visitors.
Loyrette also led the expansion of the Louvre brand to satellite museums, including one in Lens, France, and the controversial Abu Dahbi branch scheduled to open in 2015. He also opened the Louvre's Islamic art wing last fall in Paris.