No to new Louvre plan

Building will kill much needed open space

The Louvre wants to expand. Can you believe it? The largest art gallery and museum in the world isn't big enough. I just read this in Saturday's Le Figaro. The worst part is that they plan to rebuild a wing that was burnt down 130 years ago.

Basically, a wall will link the two wings of the Louvre that straddle the Seine on one side and rue de Rivoli on the other, enclosing the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel. That means the wide open view you get of the Pyramids when you stand in the Tuileries looking back will simply disappear.

Is everyone happy about this? Is anyone concerned? The front page from the Saturday 14 February edition runs with a headline, "Le projet fou des Tuileries" ("the crazy Tuileries plan"), yet talks about it all as a fait accompli. Not that I would question French town planning; I mean, they built picturesque Paris and the twee Tuileries in the first place. But there are not that many open spaces in central Paris, so it would be a bit of a shame to close this wide view off by building another wing of the Louvre.

Historians and architects appear to back the idea, but what about joggers and walkers? The worst part is the intention by the new National committee for rebuilding the Tuileries to recreate the building as it was, rather than doing something else. Like, not rebuilding it at all.

What do you think? Vote in the poll.

Tuilerie : la reconstruction en marche

Anne Muratori-Philip

[14 février 2004]

Faut-il reconstruire le palais des Tuileries? Une nouvelle réunion dans les salons de l'Institut de France, sous la présidence d'honneur de la princesse Napoléon, a donné le coup d'envoi à un projet qui n'a rien d'utopique.

©Figaro 14 February 2004

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