HKO Louvre HKO NPC Harinezumi04

The notional HKO-verion of the Louvre can be found in HKO's Paris in the right lower part of Paris, next to the entrance at the southeast. Bagel (in Paris) and Scone (in Paris) are standing in front of the Louvre. This building is not locked! Just walk right in. Inside, Harinezumi is waiting and at some point he will ask you to do quite a lot of carpentry. At least you should visit him once before leaving Paris and proceeding to Beijing.

The Musée du Louvre or "Grand Louvre" is one of the world's largest museums (the one with the third-largest exhibition space at the present) and even the most visited museum in the world. 51.615 square metres are devoted to public exhibition. There are many sections in the museum today, each addressed to a specific area or country and even era (like antiques from greek or the Etruscans). In total it even exhibits nearly 35.000 objects on 60.600 square metres. There is an underground complex of offices, shops, storage and parking areas included.

It opened on August 10th 1793 with only 537 paintings at that time. Most of the works were property confiscated by the curch or royalty. Under Napoleon the collection was enlarged by works taken from the conquered territories and the museum was renamed "Musée Napoléon". After Napoleons banning most of the formerly seized workes were returned to their owners, but the collection increased until the Second French Empire, when the museum had 20.000 pieces.

Not only paintings, but also Antiquities ans sculptures were collected. The building was also extended many times. I has now many wings and pavillons on four main levels. The complex is about 40 hectares large and encloses two courtyards. It consists of the "Old Louvre" with the medieval and renaissance buildings and the "New Louvre" with 19th-century pavillions and building.

Today the steel-and-glass pyramid is also a landmark for the Museum, it was designed by American architect Pei and built in 1989. A small comic-version of this pyramid can be found in HKO in front of the HKO-Louvre in Paris as well.

The house the museum is in is called "Palais du Louvre" (Palace of Louvre). The name is derived from the Frankish word "leower" - a fortified place. And really, it was originally a fortress in 1190, built/commissioned by King Philip II Augustus. The fortress originally had a cylindrical tower (the "Donjon" meaning "keep") at its centre. The remains of this fortress are now part of the Medieval Louvre exhibit. The fortress was an arsenal back then, not a residence for royalty.

At about 1250 the Louvre was remade into the royal tresury, but also one of the three residences of the king Louis IX and his court. Charles V enlarged the fortress and made it a beautiful and famous royal residence, starting in 1358. It was later demolished by the war and in 1546 by King Francis I.

He made architect Pierre Lescot as well as sculptor Jean Goujon and the architect Androuet du Cerceau "modernize" the fortress into a palace in the renaissance style. Then Francis I died in 1547. Catherine de Medici took over the restoration with the architects Philibert de l'Orme and Jean Bullant.

Henry IV (reigned 1589-1610) increased the building and created a link between the Louvre and the Palais de Tuileries by the "Grande Galerie", designed by Jacques Androuet de Cerceau and Louis Métezeau. It was the longest building of its kind in the word - a quarter of a mile.

Henry IV let hundreds of artists and craftsmen work and live on the lower floors. Louis XIII then replaced the north wing of the Louvre with "the Pavillon de l`Horloge", by his architect Jacques Lemercier, who was done in 1639. A clock was added to this wing in 1857. Also another wing, the "Richelieu Wing" was built by Louis XIII, and the first museum in the Louvre (it was much later opened to the public on November 8th, 1793, which was during the French Revolution).

In 1659, the "Sun King" Louis XIV had his architects Le Vau and André Le Nôtre, as well as painter Charles Le Brun, reconstruct the Louvre again, wih a new gallery and decoration, also with a chapel. The Tuileries garden was redesigned too. The architect Claude Perrault was commissioned to creat an italian balustrade and a flat roof on the eastern wing. He constructed a triumphal arch entranced.

But in 1672-1678 the royal residence was removed from the Louvre to Versailles, and the Palais du Louvre became an art gallery. It displayed the royal collection and also antique sculptures. In 1692 the building was occupied by two Academies, which held the first salon in 1699, others followed. The National Assembly of the French Revolution decided that the Louvre should be used as a museum for masterpieces of the nation.

The Louvre housed the formal seat of government until 1789. In 1806 Napoleon I. had his architect Charles Percier create the "Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel" between the western wings, with a sculpture by François Joseph Bosioon top. Napoleon III added new wings made by Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel, with 86 statues of famous men. The Tuileries Palace was then destroyed in 1871.

In 1983 President François Mitterrand had another renovation made and removed the Finance Ministry from it. Now displays were allowed all throughout the building. The pyramid and an underground lobby were inaugurated on October 15th in 1988. The "inverted pyramid" La Pyramide Inversée was completed in 1993. The Louvre Pyramid is in the heart of the complex, directly above the visitor's centre.

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