The Musée du Louvre has announced that visitors will have to book timed tickets in advance for its Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, opening on October 24.

This mandatory booking policy is part of an effort to control large crowds. Timed tickets will be sold at 30-minute intervals. Reservations, which will be mainly online, will be obligatory for all visitors, including the 40 percent who enter the Louvre for free.

"This will enable us to manage the flow of visitors and prevent them from queuing. It's about changing our visitors' habits", said the Louvre's president and director, Jean-Luc Martinez, to The Art Newspaper.

The decision came after the Louvre's overall attendance reached a record 10.2 million visitors in 2018 -- the equivalent of 25,000 to 50,000 people a day.

The upcoming retrospective on Leonardo da Vinci is expected to attract huge crowds of art lovers. Curated by Vincent Delieuvin and Louis Frank, it will include paintings in the Louvre's collection -- including the iconic "Mona Lisa" and da Vinci's early piece "Portrait de femme, dit la Belle Ferronnière."

Marking the fifth centenary of the Italian artist's death, the exhibition will include a wide array of drawings alongside a series of paintings and sculptures. It will also present the latest scientific examinations of the Louvre's paintings, and the conservation treatment of three of them -- allowing a better understanding of da Vinci's artistic practice and pictorial technique.

The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition will be on at the Louvre from Oct 24. 2019 to Feb. 24, 2020. Additional information can be found on the museum's official website.