What’s New at the Louvre

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The Louvre is in the news this week, but it’s more about what’s happening outside the museum than what’s inside.

First, the water. Following weeks of rain, the Seine peaked at 20 feet above normal Saturday morning, the highest level since 1982, and museums took emergency measures to keep their artwork safe. Both the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay closed, and employees moved works from lower to upper floors. No damage was done, the river has since receded, and museums are making arrangements to reopen. Scary, nonetheless. Here’s a good NYT article.

Second, the optical illusion. International street artist JR, who has been covering public walls with photographs for 10 years, and most recently transformed the outside of the Paris Pantheon during its renovation, has changed the appearance of the Louvre Pyramid. Normally, JR uses giant photographs of people, but this time, by plastering the Pyramid with a gigantic B&W photograph of the museum, he has created an optical illusion. Stand at just the right angle, and the controversial glass pyramid seems to disappear. “JR at The Louvre” runs outside Musée du Louvre from May 25 – June 28