29 November 2015
The Louvre Museum in Paris, France houses some of the world’s most treasured sculptures and paintings. Spanning from the 6th century B.C. to 19th century A.D., the Louvre has 35,000 works in total. Famous collections include the Iconic work of Leonardo de Vinci’s Mona Lisa (portrait of Lisa Gherardini), famous Greek sculptures such as the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
The Louvre was initially intended as a fortress in 1190, but it was expanded into a palace. In 1793, Louie XIV moved the royal residence to Versailles and turned Louvre into an Art museum, showcasing the royal collection and artifacts. Napoleon turned change the name of the Louvre into Musée Napoleon, but his defeat at Waterloo change the name back to Louvre.
Construction of the pyramid came later under President Francois Mitterand’s term in 1984. The original entrance hall of the museum was too small to cater to the large influx of tourists visiting the site everyday. And to solve the confusing layout of the Museum, Mitterand solicited Architect Ieoh Ming Pei, the Chinese-born American, to fix the problem. Pei suggested building a subterranean entrance hall that will link all three wings. Meanwhile, the Pyramid-style entrance was inspired by France’s great landscape designer, André Le Nôtre, who was known to strictly follow geometrical lines. And to make it less obtrusive, Pei made the Pyramid in glass cladding. The Pyramid was inaugurated in March 1989. The inverted pyramid was later installed in 1993.
Today, the Louvre Museum claims the title as the world’s largest museum.
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