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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Louvre-Lens in France: A Chase Scene Waiting to Happen

louvre-lens museum france glass entry

The pyramid of the Louvre museum in France is an iconic glass and steel structure that juts up from the streets of Paris in defiance of the cobbled square, just daring movie chase scenes to launch cars and motorcycles off of its gleaming slopes. Mime fights, glass cutting super agents, and video games where you can drive up the sides to shoot waiting pedestrians with bumper mounted machine guns have all given the pyramid a badass reputation. Unfortunately, you may want to rent yourself one of the many holiday villas in France and settle in for the long haul, because waiting to get in is the lamest thing around.

Don’t despair! The Louvre-Lens is a brand new offshoot of the iconic museum, tucked away in an industrial area. And it’s even more insanely awesome.

louvre-lens museum france glass entrance © Iwan Baan

On December 11 2012, the Louvre-Lens officially opened. It sits nestled alongside industrial complexes, mining sites, and suburban homes in a gleaming scatter of glass bricks. From above, you really have no idea how incredible the interiors are. The reason for the unrivaled awesome? The entire building is glass. Curved carefully along the landscape, the wall distorts light just enough to make sure the outside world won’t detract from your art viewing pleasure.

louvre-lens museum france glass entrance © Hisao Suzuki

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

All I can picture when I look through these photos is every sterile, technological, harshly lit superhero’s lair or villain’s evil invention laboratory. In fact, when I first flipped through these striking images I immediately pictured tearing the Batmobile in a slalom through the precious artifacts, and screeching to a halt as Tom Cruise dropped from the ceiling. (I wanted to hit him, but smearing crap all over Leonardo DaVinci’s works seems the worst type of defilement.) I also imagined listening to awful ambient techno while reclining my robot vagina in a chair suspended under giant screens for my video games. (You may need to watch Grandma’s Boy to appreciate the reference. This is a direct order, not a suggestion.) Then I checked over my shoulder in a panic because I could practically feel Hugo Weaving and his agent buddies breathing down my neck.

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Hisao Suzuki

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit exterior © Hisao Suzuki

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit © Iwan Baan

louvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit exterior © Iwan Baan

I love the idea of a more rural offshoot of the Louvre- getting people out of Paris central and moving around more of the country, while giving them more places to experience culture, is a win all around. The Louvre-Lens hasn’t yet been tarnished improved by the aura that only popular culture and entertainment can imbue; I obviously appreciate it as a bastion for beauty, but my inner nerd screams out for a movie or a game to take this location and run wild with it.

Here are some unbelievably cool facts about the Louvre-Lens:

a 3,000 square meter gallery called the ‘grande galerie’ will exhibit artifacts from the Louvre’s collection without partitions along its entire 120 meter length
it’s built over an old minethere is an extensive underground bunker section to support the museum’s needsthe roof, walls, and corridor accents are made of brushed aluminum, bringing the shiny factor up to warp 10for the rest of 2013, most of the museum and grounds is FREE to attend. Free! More info at their websitelouvre-lens museum france glass art exhibit aerial view © Iwan Baan

So in summary: if you’re by France, in France, or planning to travel to France, head out to the countryside for a day and pretend you’re a super villain. Take in the gorgeous architecture, stop to appreciate the timeless pieces of art, and sit and lose yourself in daydreams… of screeching tires, sexy secret agents, and the spiderwebbed cracks of bullet riddled glass as you make your getaway.

View the original article here

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