The Louvre Palace
Second half of the XIXth century
In 1882, after twelve years of projects and of beating about the bush, the demolition of the Tuileries ruins put an end to the building's palatial function. But Lefuel rebuilt the "Pavillon de Flore" and "Pavillon de Marsan" blocks and the North wings, which housed the Finance Ministry. The history of the Louvre Palace henceforth became linked to that of the Museum.
Once again, its appearance was altered with new decorations, for example the great staircase (1934), which is now dominated by the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the antichamber of Henri II, the ceiling of which is adorned with a composition by Georges Braque (1953). As a national museum, the Louvre has continued through the XXth century to enrich its collections and to display them to advantage.
But by the seventies, the available space was not longer able to cope with the growing collections and with the public popularity of the museum. A radical solution was needed. Thus most of the post 1848 work was transferred in 1986 to the musée d'Orsay, which was created on the opposite bank of the Seine, and renovation work began on the Louvre itself.
Everything has been designed in such a way as to allow as many members of the public as possible to gain access to the museum. A welcoming reception and a pleasant visit have been prime factors. In the Auditorium, the public are offered concerts, lectures and films.
By rethinking its function as a museum, the Louvre Palace has rediscovered a rich and animated life at the heart of the city.