Did you know the Louvre Museum in Paris is the largest art museum in the world? It was also the residency to kings prior to the Palace of Versailles and is, to this day, a historic monument that represents most nations. Aside from numerous pieces of famous artwork and exhibits, it even houses a McDonalds! (Talk about an experience that crosses cultural divides.)
It is said that the museum is so large an individual who spends 4 seconds looking at each work of art would take 3 months to get through the entire institute. However, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could take only a glance at the famous masterpieces available in this setting — some of which include Leonardo da Vinci’s, “Mona Lisa” and Michelangelo’s Italian Renaissance sculpture, “The Rebellious Slave.”
Open to the public in 1793, the museum has spent the past 2 centuries securing its title as the “Museum among museums.” At the time, it was a home to France’s nobility, and throughout the ages has played a critical role in art history and world politics. Founded during the French Revolution the infamous infrastructure, like the country, was made to evolve, influence, and remain aware of all things new in Europe and throughout the world.
As kings took royal oaths and war raged, the Louvre never wavered under poor leadership or political stresses. She always remained a fortress. In fact, during World War I and II, the museum slowed acquisitions and removed most of the work, hiding them so they would not be taken by opposition forces. Such protective measures allowed the museum to remain the beacon of art history well into the 21st century.
To this day the Louvre advances itself as a “barrier-free” museum. It desires to attract all people within the nation of France as well as those outside the borders. Henry Loyrette, the current president and CEO of the Louvre notes how the museum continues to “play a major role in cultural diplomacy.” This is done through the intrinsic ability art has to dull the divides of contingencies and tensions. It also inspires dialogue between people of different cultures. Ultimately, art promotes respect and forges a common bond for all.
At the present time, the Louvre houses upwards of 380,000 pieces of art work and has 35,000 of these on display in eight different departments (Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings). The Louvre also exhibits archaeological finds as well. It is the most visited museum in the world and averages 15,000 visitors per day. Aside from being a setting of many movies, the museum was a point of interest in best selling book, The DaVinci Code and the 2006 film. From this filming alone the museum collected $2.5 million and got to showcase its most prominent galleries.
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, Segmation would love to hear about your experience. Please share your highlights in the comment box below.
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