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Louvre Director Plans its Grand Revamp

originally posted on: The Art Newspaper by Javier Pes
September 04, 2014

Jean-Luc Martinez, who was promoted to the directorship of the Musée du Louvre last year, is proposing the most ambitious renovation of the Paris museum since the Grand Louvre project of the 1980s.
Martinez plans to start with the great paintings galleries in the Richelieu wing, which will be rehung, relit and relabelled. The project will begin with the museum’s rooms of 17th-century French paintings, followed by the Dutch and Flemish galleries. This phase will take two years, starting next year, he tells The Art Newspaper.

Martinez also reveals that he wants to lead a “complete makeover” of the world’s most visited museum. Even rewriting the labels is a Herculean task; the institution has around 38,000 of them. The project is “likely to take decades”, he says.

Planning the museum’s comprehensive renovation began in June and work is due to start on the main entrance this month. The museum now attracts more than nine million visitors a year and forecasts a 30% rise to around 12 million by 2025. Martinez also plans to devote 1,500 sq. m of space to major temporary exhibitions in the Napoleon Hall, which is beneath the museum’s I.M. Pei-designed entrance pyramid.

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