Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10 - Musée du Louvre

The Musée du Louvre first opened in Paris on August 10, 1793. The Assembly of the Revolutionary government had previously declared that the 16th-century Palais du Louvre, along the River Seine, would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts." Its opening occurred on the first anniversary of Louis XVI’s imprisonment and the nationalization of his royal collection, which comprised more than 500 paintings and scores of objets d'art as well as works seized from émigrés and the Church. Other works were subsequently brought in from Northern Europe and the Vatican. Citizens were admitted free, three days a week. Walls were completely filled with paintings, floor to ceiling. The Louvre grew under Napoléon I, who built a northern wing parallel to the Grand Galerie and hauled in more art works. After Waterloo, many owners of the works scrambled to retrieve what Bonaparte had taken. Today’s renovated museum, “Le Grand Louvre,” with its glass pyramid designed by architect I.M. Pei, was completed in 1988-89.

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