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Louvre Gallery

Updated Tuesday 19th June 2007

An introduction to the Louvre, one of Paris' most famous cultural centres

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Location of Louvre Gallery Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team Louvre Gallery exterior Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

The gallery is one of the most famous in the world. It was originally a royal palace but was abandoned as a residence when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles in 1682.

Louvre Gallery Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

The first royal art collection was inaugurated here in the 16th century and was opened to the public as a gallery in the 18th century. It now houses a rich collection of ancient and Western art, most famously Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Louvre Gallery interior Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

In the late 1980s the Louvre was renovated and expanded. Plans included the now famous glass pyramid in the central courtyard. Despite the original protests, the pyramid has become a landmark of the city. In November 1993, to mark the gallery’s 200th anniversary, the museum opened the Richelieu wing.

 

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