Thursday, June 13, 2013
HISTORY OF THE LOUVRE
Louvre Palace, Paris, France
This historical monument is one of the largest museums in the world. The landmark is situated on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, France.
Each year, millions of people visit and view the nearly 35,000 prehistoric to 21st century objects on display in the 652,300 square feet of museum space. With each passing year the throngs grow larger and larger.
The Louvre Palace, home to the museum, was
once a 12th cnetury fortress. Portions of the original structure can be found in the basement of the museum. It went through many changes in centuries past; at one point serving as a place to display the ruling royalty's collections.
In August of 1793, the museum opened with an exhibition of royal and confiscated church propery, 537 paintings and 184 objects of art. During the 5 years between 1796 and 1801, the Louvre was closed due to structural problems. The collection increased in size under Napolean and the museum subsequently renamed Musee Napolean. The collection grew larger and larger through the reign of Louis XVIII and Charles X. 20,000 pieces were added during the Second French Empire. The museums works have continued to expand and since 2008 have been divided into 8 curatorial departments; Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings.
By 1874, The Louvre had become an almost complete rectancular structure, it's present day configuration. In 1988, the I. M. Pei designed glass pyramid and entrance to the underground lobby were inaugurated. Another addition, La Pyramide Inversee (the Inverted Pyramid) was completed in 1993.