Exploring the Louvre

Thanks to the Da Vinci Code, the Louvre has been shrouded in a mystique that has some poor wretches believing it holds the secrets to the holy grail, catholism and even God. Whilst Dan Brown is quite a story teller I think the Louvre is intriguing enough without the fiction and so I shan’t mention the said novel again.

The building itself holds historical signifigance as being the former residence of the French Royality and its collection, in excess of 35,000 pieces, includes some of the worlds most influential and well known items.

The musuem attracts in excess of 8 million tourists a year and today we saw our fair share. Whilst we didn’t queue for very long to get into the Louvre, on entering we immediatly became aware of the heaving sea of people converging on the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.

Encased in glass and only about 30 x 20 inches in size, the Mona Lisa is an enticing painting and even as you move away from her, she holds your gaze with her little smile. Similary the Venus de Milo is very pleasing to the eye and stands out as being far more detailed (and larger) than the many other stone portraits in the Louvre.

Also of note is Louie XIV’s Crown, far more colourful, and almost juvenile, compared to the Scotland Honours.  Michelangelo’s Dying Slave (above) is also housed here and is one the most expressive statues I have seen. The Louvre’s entire collection is catalogued on its website if you are interested, but set aside a bit of time!

Visiting the Louvre was a not a relaxing experience, nor was it particulary educational one, there were far to many people. However I would not have left without going and I recommend those who visit Paris to go, if only to see the few pieces I have mentioned and the museum’s interior.

– Gemma

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