May 2, 2016

2516, 2517 FRANCE (Île-de-France) - Louvre Museum - part of Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

2516 Louvre Museum in Paris

The Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (ward). The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by  Philip II in the 12th century, with remnants of this building still visible in the crypt. It was altered frequently throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style.

2517 Leonardo da Vinci - Mona Lisa

Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in modern epoca acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed; however, the move permitted the Louvre to be used as a residence for artists.

Even though there have been some previous attempts, only under Louis XVI the royal museum idea became policy, and during the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. It was opened on 10 August 1793, the first anniversary of the monarchy's demise. Under Napoleon I, a northern wing was begun, and the collection grew through successful military campaigns. During the Restoration (1814-1830), Louis XVIII and Charles X added 135 pieces.

During the Third Republic (1870-1940) the Louvre acquired new pieces mainly via donations and gifts. By 1874, the Louvre had achieved its present form of an almost rectangular structure with the Sully Wing to the east containing the square Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon, the Richelieu Wing to the north and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south. In WWII many works were temporary moved to the Château de Chambordand to the Château de Valençay.

In 1983, French President François Mitterrand proposed the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoléon. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988; the pyramid was completed in 1989. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993.

The Louvre Museum is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Paris, Banks of the Seine, about which I wrote here

About the stamp
The stamp is the same blue Marianne et l'Europe about which I wrote here.

Louvre - Wikipedia

Sender 2516, 2517: Kazimierz Roman Leszczynski (direct swap)
Sent from Paris (Île-de-France / France), on 03.09.2013

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