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The Emergence of the Modern Louvre

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The Emergence of the Modern Louvre
©2007 Solarikon. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license.

1883: When the Tuileries Palace is torn down, a major transition occurs and the Louvre ceases to be a seat of royal power. The site is now almost entirely dedicated to the arts and culture. Within a few years, the museum would expand significantly to take over all of the major buildings.
1884-1939: The Louvre continues to expand and inaugurates innumerable new wings and collections, including a wing dedicated to the Islamic arts and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs.
1939-1945: With the impending breakout of World War II in 1939, the museum is closed and the collections evacuated, excepting the largest pieces which are protected by sandbags. When Nazi troops invade Paris and most of France in 1940, the Louvre re-opens, but is mostly empty.
1981: French President Francois Mittérand unveils an ambitious plan to renovate and reorganize the Louvre and move the only remaining government ministry to another location, making the Louvre exclusively dedicated to its activity as a museum for the first time.
1986: The Musée d'Orsay is inaugurated in the former locale of the Orsay train station across the Seine. The new museum transfers more contemporary works from artists born between 1820 and 1870, and soon sets itself apart for its collection of Impressionist painting, among others. Works from the Jeu de Paume on the west end of the Tuileries are also transferred to Orsay.
1989: The Louvre's glass pyramid built by Chinese architect I.M. Pei is inaugurated and serves as the new main entrance.

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