Icarus, Gilgamesh, Hercules, and Darth Vader, what do they have in common? More than meets the eye. Whether written or sung, drawn or carved, myths are part of every civilization, including our contemporary popular culture. They recount the forces of good and evil, the cycles of nature, and the creation of the world. Faces and names may change, but the silver cord remains the same. This delightful inaugural exhibition at the Louvre’s new Petite Galerie explores how artists around the world have drawn inspiration from myths, and brought them to life.
Good things come in small packages, and the newly inaugurated Petite Galerie is no exception. An unprecedented project dedicated to art education invites young visitors and their accompanying adults to explore a different theme each year through major artworks from prehistory to the present day. Director Jean-Luc Martinez wanted to recall the spirit in which the Louvre was founded in 1793, a museum open to all: “I wanted to concentrate our efforts to accommodate all museum visitors, regardless of the time they have available, or their level of knowledge,” he explains, “to give our visitors a Louvre that is more open, more welcoming and more generous.”
With 240 square metres and four galleries, this is “petite” only relative to Louvre standards. To put it in perspective, the museum received the visit of 27,000 school groups in 2014 alone.
Tip: Avoid queues by buying tickets ahead, or enter through the shopping area, from the métro station Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre and follow the signs ‘Carrousel du Louvre’.
Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader, until July 4. Musée du Louvre, Petite Galerie. Open daily 9am to 5.30pm, until 9:30pm Wednesday and Friday. Closed Tuesday. Métro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre. €15 including museum ticket. Free for visitors under 18.. Tel: +33 1 40 20 53 17. www.louvre.fr
From France Today magazine
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