Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday at the Louvre

And so starts the two week break for children in Paris. During the vacation, we are heading to Egypt for a few days later this week. To prepare the children, I've bought a couple of books, but I thought it would be a good idea to see the Ancient Egyptian collection at the Louvre.

The Egyptian collection is a permanent part of the Louvre and was created in 1826 by Jean-Francois Champollion, who deciphered the mystery of hieroglyphics. The collection has grown through private donations since then. Below is a picture of the Large Sphinx from around 1898-1866 BC. We are really looking forward to our trip!

While we were at the Louvre we checked out the new room for La Jaconde/Mona Lisa. As I mentioned before, La Jaconde just got a new resting place, the Salle des Etat. The room was refurbished for 6 million dollars! With that kind of money spent, I had great expectations and I was disappointed. Here is a picture of the room. What do you think? $6 million??

One last picture. We walked past the Venus de Milo, a famous Greek statue. She supposedly represents Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. My son couldn't figure out why she doesn't have arms. I told him the statue was made in pieces and that was enough of an explanation for him. She is a beauty, although as I've already admitted, I seem to have developed a thing for statues.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
7:24 PM



Thanks for a peek at the Venus De Milo. Such a breathtaking statue. In case you forget to be grateful you live in Paris (and I read your blog, and it seems unlikely!), check out this LA Times link, about a bunch of feminists and church ladies protesting a nude statue proposed for Venice Beach (by sculptor Robert Graham).

One woman said: "I deplore the representation of a woman as a headless bust, a shiny sexual object."

Translation: she's fat!


If you need a password to access the article, here's a blog item I wrote on it with some quotes from it. Insane!


# posted by Amy Alkon : 8:07 AM  

i wonder when i will be able to visit the Louvre with my boys without being sick worried all the time that they run into something and break it... you're going to Egypt? that is so great!

# posted by irene : 8:39 AM  

The room does seem to be a dissapointmet for $6 million. The new location seems to be a bit larger and hopefully easier to get closer to see the Mona Lisa. When I went to view her it seems a bit crowded. Enjoy your trip to Egypt.
We are having a late season snow storm here in Michigan. Six inches expected.

# posted by Paula from Michigan : 3:52 PM  

On my one and only visit to Paris (last year -- which lasted just three days) we basically only had time to visit the Louvre (which could have easily stretched into a week). If the Mona Lisa pilgrims get a little more time to gaze at her in her new spot, then I guess it's money well spent (although you are right, I expected more!)

Have a wonderful time in Egypt!

# posted by Donna : 6:42 PM  

You know, I think statuary grows on us! I never used to like sculpture as much as other forms of art, but, now I am fascinated by it! I actually head straight for the sculpture gardens in museums now. Please share about Egypt ... have never been there.

# posted by Becca : 10:47 PM  

I am surprised they let you take pictures in the museum!

# posted by mrsmogul : 11:01 PM  

Egypt... you and your family travel to the best places. You're really fortunate! (I'm also extremely jealous!)

La salle de la Jaconde est très chère! But then, when my high school redid their roof in 2000, back when I was a freshman, I remember there being an uproar that it was costing them $1.1 million. So $6 million for that room, placed in that context, it's sort of understandable. I have a feeling if anything a lot of money went toward security. At night it's probably like something straight out of Mission:Impossible (or you would think, right?)

# posted by Joe : 4:36 AM  

Amy, I try never forget how lucky I am to live in Paris. I do appreciate that Paris is a more "free" society in some ways -- especially when it comes to representing the body.
Irene, This is the first year when I've really started taking the kids to museums. It just wasn't worth the hassle because they didn't get much if anything out of the visit. Now my son, 8, remembers things and tolerates the short visits.
Paula, You are my second Michigan visitor. Welcome. My husband comes from MI, so I visit often. Yes, I think you are right, more people can actually see Mona Lisa at any given moment.
Donna and Joe, My husband, who works in finance, argued that 6 million is nothing for the new room and most of the money was spent on security. He was arguing that for the money that Mona Lisa brings to the Louvre, it's just a drop in the bucket. You all have a point.
Becca, I have a friend who sculpts and I'm just in awe of her. It's such a beautiful art form. I will share about Egypt. I'm so excited about the trip!
MrsMogul, I don't think you can use flash on the paintings (except the Mona Lisa which has layers of protective covering). You can take flash pictures of the statues. At least that is my understanding.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:57 AM  

I liked ML better in her non-descriptive little room in a corner of the most famous museum on earth. Very fitting for her personality as the non descriptive, most famous painted WOMAN on earth. The new placement in nice...but 6M ??? Really? Wow, being a renovator myself I can imagine what you can build with 6M and it's a lot!

# posted by chrisc : 9:37 AM  

Why make up a story about the statue? It's an old statue, and it was broken when they found it. I can't figure out why you wouldn't just say so when your boy asked.

# posted by Ramona : 7:41 PM  

One of my tour guides, who do quite a bit of reseach on their subjects, told me that the Venus de Milo is not one piece -- that pieces were made and fit together. I didn't make it up and I certainly wouldn't make up such a thing. It is what I was told by an "art expert."

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 12:14 AM  

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