Louvre museum is one of the most visited museums in the world. There are about 35,000 unique masterpieces in the museum that adds to its popularity and exhibit subjects that range from 6th Century BC to the 19th Century. Below are some interesting facts about the museum that can be helpful in your Louvre museum tours.
Biggest Museum in the World
Louvre is the biggest museum in the world, and it is impossible to see all the things that the museum exhibits in one visit. Experts in Paris tours claim that it will take about hundred days to see each piece of art displayed in the museum, even if you can spend only about thirty seconds on each piece. In total, the museum exhibits 380,000 pieces; however, not all of them are open to the public.
The museum extends outside the confines of the 16th Century palace and is connected to the Musée National Eugene-Delacroix. It also has the Tuileries Gardens in its front, which is the oldest park in Paris.
The Mona Lisa
One of the most popular and famous art pieces in the museum is Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, people from all over the world travel to the Louvre to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. However, you might not know that the painting is not as big as we think. The dimension of the painting is just 53 x 77 cms (21 x 30 inches), which means that the painting is just a bit larger than an A2 size paper.
The painting of Mona Lisa is protected by bulletproof glass and has guards. No one has ever explained why she is smiling that way. In addition, the identity of Mona Lisa is also a mystery. Some say that she was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, where others believe that it is a self portrait, which is an allusion to the supposed homosexual version of Leonardo da Vinci.
The Musée du Louvre
Originally, the Musée du Louvre was not a museum, but was a fortress built in 1190. The building was turned into a royal palace from a fortress in the 16th Century. After the French Monarchy moved to the Palace of Versailles in 1793, the place was named Louvre museum and was opened to the public. At the time, it offered just 537 paintings.
Once the museum was renamed to Musée Napoleon and the collection was expanded to 5,000 pieces by Napoleon. However, the pieces were returned to the owners when Napoleon was defeated. Napoleon even hung the painting of Mona Lisa in his private bedroom during his rule.