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Museo del Louvre en París
Louvre Museum in Paris. Photo: The Louvre Museum.

The Louvre Museum, cultural center of Europe

The Louvre museum was the center of power in the country as a royal palace until Louis XIV moved it to Versailles. Today, it is the world center of culture and…

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May 20th, 2022

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If it were an opera, it would have been composed by Claude Debussy and if it were a novel, it would have been born from the hands of Simone de Beauvoir. Of such caliber and history is the Louvre Museum in Paris, an essential place if you visit Europe, and especially France. It was the center of power in the country as a royal palace until Louis XIV moved it to Versailles, and today, is the center of culture in the Western world.

The Louvre became a museum in 1793, and has collected the artistic expression of humanity from its beginnings to almost today. From classical antiquity, The Seated Scribe, is one of the most representative and best-preserved statues of Ancient Egypt, and was sculpted more than 2,000 years before Christ. There's also the Venus de Milo, the central work of sculpture from Ancient Greece, that was created between 130 and 100 years B.C.

Liberty Leading the People, by Eugène Delacroix, a symbol of the 1830 Revolution in France, also rests in the Louvre. The riots in the painting represent the story of a revolt to join in or to be swept away. As with the beauty of the Mona Lisa, the portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci, which today is the central jewel that attracts the most attention.

The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and an international gateway to Paris. Seventy-five percent of its visitors are foreigners, especially from the United States, China and Spain. Perhaps for this reason, visits fell by 70% in 2021. It was visited by 2.8 million people when it had welcomed 9.6 million in 2019. The pandemic has also wreaked havoc on culture. In 2020, it had a similar number of guests, especially because it was closed for the first time in its history for six months. Its record of visits, with 10.2 million, was in 2018.

Visiting the museum today

Sixty years after the first parade of Yves Saint-Laurent, the Louvre, together with the Center Pompidou and the Musée d'Orsay, celebrated his stature and offered a retrospective of all his facets. Artists like Picasso or Mondrian inspired his designs. One of his series of jackets was born from his visit to the Sallon Apollon in the Louvre — one of the most exuberant rooms in the museum. The exhibition opens on Jan. 29, and will be open until May 15.

To visit the Louvre, tickets must be reserved in advance. All visitors over 12 years of age must present vaccination passports and the use of a mask is mandatory in the facilities.

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