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Uncover the mysteries of the Louvre

May 07, 2017

Vital viewing

Vital viewing:  Heritage Museum Curator Cheng Woon-tong outlines the must-see items in the Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years exhibition.

Fabulous fabulist

Fabulous fabulist:  The marble sculpture of Jean de la Fontaine by Pierre Julien has been brought out of the Louvre for the first time.

Priceless piety

Priceless piety:  Rembrandt's Christ Healing the Sick is popularly known as the Hundred-Guilder Print.

Eternal elegance

Eternal elegance:  Egyptian funerary object the Book of the Dead features incantation and poems.

Oil and water

Oil and water:  Theodore Gericault's Sketch for The Raft of the Medusa.

Contemporary classic

Contemporary classic:  Visitors can pose for photos with this digital version of the Mona Lisa which features Hong Kong landmarks.

The Heritage Museum is showcasing art treasures from the Louvre in Paris until July.

 

The Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years exhibition features more than 130 masterpieces, including paintings, sculptures and ceramics, and Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities.

 

Visitors will learn the stories behind the exhibits and the history of the Louvre, from its origins as a fortress that became a royal palace, to its transformation into an internationally renowned museum.

 

The exhibition allows visitors to appreciate art treasures from different periods and to explore the Louvre's rich history.

 

There are six exhibition halls, each representing different periods of the Louvre.

 

Some of the exhibits date back to 500 BC and have been brought out of the Louvre for the first time. They include Pierre Julien's marble sculpture of Jean de la Fontaine and a Roman horse head statue.

 

Essential exhibits

Heritage Museum Curator Cheng Woon-tong said three exhibits are a must-see. One is a print by Rembrandt named Christ Healing the Sick, popularly known as the Hundred-Guilder Print.

 

"This print is precious because it is in the first state. It shows the contrast between the light, soft lines and the deep, heavy lines. It plays an important role in the development of print art," Mr Cheng said.

 

Another recommended exhibit is the Book of the Dead, an Egyptian funerary object from about 300 BC.

 

"There is incantation and poems in the Book of the Dead. Egyptians believe the soul still existed after a person died. They have to go through some challenges to get eternal life.

 

"The Book of the Dead shows the soul is brought to trial before the Egyptian god Osiris. Their heart is placed on a scale to see if it is heavier than a feather which represents justice. If the heart is heavier, that means the dead person is guilty and cannot attain eternal life. It is a special exhibit."

 

Mr Wong also recommends Theodore Gericault's Sketch for The Raft of the Medusa.

 

"This painting is famous. It is a preparatory sketch before the painter began to work on the huge final painting."

 

Time travelling

An education zone offers a wide range of interactive exhibits and screenings. It also has a virtual time machine, leading visitors on a tour through space and time.

 

Visitors will “meet” the key people involved in developing the Louvre and Beijing's Forbidden City, and discover the similarities in development of the two palaces, giving people a better understanding of cultural exchanges between France and China.

 

There is also a digital version of the Mona Lisa amid a background of Hong Kong landmarks like Victoria Harbor and Tsim Sha Tsui's Clock Tower. Visitors can pose for photos with the exhibit.

 

The exhibition, running until July 24, is part of the celebratory activities for the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.



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Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China 20th Anniversary