The Lens Louvre France opened in December 2012 to great acclaim in the north of France.
The Musée du Louvre in Paris was opened in 1793, receives more than 8 million visitors a year and is home to many of the world’s most famous masterpieces.
For the first time – the Paris based Louvre is branching out and has opened a new Louvre wing in Lens in the north of France.
The Lens Louvre will be different from the Paris Louvre in many ways, not least of all because it will not have a permanent collection of its own. Works of art from the Musée du Louvre in Paris will be loaned to the Lens Louvre and this will create a dynamic, constantly changing set of exhibitions; in addition, there will be two major exhibitions each year – in summer and winter.
The fluidity of the collection is a theme that the Lens Louvre will emulate in its presentations, making art more personal for visitors. The behind–the-scenes work rooms, generally hidden away from public view are in fact highly visible at the Lens venue. New information and communication technology will be tested at the Lens Louvre and the presentation of works will be radicalised – no doubt pleasing some but not all.
The masterpieces of the Lens Louvre will come from the Louvre’s collection of artworks dating from between the 6th millennium BC and 1850. Although contemporary art will not be a feature in that respect, contemporary artists from all over the world will be invited to the Lens Louvre either to display their work or in connection with pieces from the Louvre Paris.
The building of the Lens Louvre is in itself a work of art. Not just an annexe of the main museum – it has glass outer walls, glass inner walls and a glass ceiling – like enormous crystal cubes, set in woods and walkways which the Lens Louvre describes as a “museum in a park”.
For those travelling from the UK, and from Belgium, the new museum will make access to the masterpieces highly reachable.
Approximately 90km from Calais Port, a journey by car of around 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, just 17km from Arras and 28km from Lille.
More about the Lens Louvre – a museum with soul
Website for the Lens Louvre Museum