I have always been fascinated by the Louvre. It is supposedly ranked the world’s most admired museum as well as it’s largest museum.
The Louvre began as a medieval fortress and palace for kings of France; it was built in the 12th and 13th century. It only become a museum a few centuries ago, opening August 10th 1793, during the French Revolution. It is the largest museum in the world and shows over 35,000 artworks. There is also a staff of 2,100 people working daily at the museum.
On there website, it states that two unfortunate events have occurred in their museum through the years. This includes the “1896 purchase of the tiara of Saitaphernes, which proved to be a fake, and the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911.” The first was a tiara that was believed to be the Scythian king’s Saitapharnes. It was commissioned by two individuals, the Hochman brothers, from a goldsmith in Odessa. Later the goldsmith came to Paris and proved he made this piece, showing the Louvre that they had purchased a fake. The second event that occurred brought Mona Lisa more fame. It was Vincenzo Perugia who took the Mona Lisa, putting the artwork under his smock and quickly leaving the museum.
“It was not until November 1913, calling himself Leonardo Vincenzo, that Perugia wrote to an art dealer in Florence named Alfredo Geri offering to bring the painting to Italy for a reward of 500,000 lire. He traveled to Florence by train the following month, taking the Mona Lisa in a trunk, hidden beneath a false bottom. After booking into a hotel, which subsequently shrewdly changed its name to the Hotel La Gioconda, he took the painting to Geri’s gallery. Geri persuaded him to leave it for expert examination and the police arrested Perugia later that day” (historytoday.com).
Musée du Louvre is absolutely amazing, and the building itself has so much history as well as all the artworks in the building.
Some works included in the museum:
I also found this video about the Louvre. It’s over an hour long but I thought it had some interesting facts about the museum!