Visit the Re-Launched Pavilion de l’Horologe at the Louvre
If you are on your Louvre tour, you will be presented with two options when it comes to finding the Mona Lisa among the 38,000 artworks displayed in the museum, spread across 70,000 square meters of area. If you are the impatient type, you may go straight to the first floor of the southern Denon wing of the museum, where the 514 years old masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci is displayed alone.
Those who are on Louvre guided tour will follow a route that will take them first to one of the other great women displayed in the museum, Venus de Milo. They will then have to pass through the 17th century Pavilion de l’Horologe, which is the Clock Pavilion. This pavilion stands midway between the Cour Carree, which is an internal courtyard and the Cour Napoleon that houses the modern pyramid shaped main entrance of the museum. This pavilion takes up three floors of the central Sully wing of the museum.
French architect Jacques Lemercier designed and built the Clock Pavilion in the period of King Louis XIII and it has served many functions since late 1620s. The pavilion had held royal apartments, as well as has served a studio for the artists, who were in the service of Louis XIV, after the king shifted to Versailles. The Clock Pavilion has also hosted early versions of the Salon, which was the annual exhibition that determined if a French artist would succeed or fail in his or her career from 1667 to the period of the Impressionists.
The pavilion has undergone renovations that lasted for eighteen months and was recently re-launched with the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre multi storey unit. “The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre, dedicated to the history and the collections of the Louvre Palace, pays tribute to the late Founding Father of the UAE,” a trilingual black and white sign reads in the entrance of the pavilion. It was inaugurated by French president, Francois Hollande, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on 6 July 2016.
The addition of such a visitor centre to the Louvre makes good sense as the building represents the historical and architectural heart of the complete museum. Of course, it is bound to attract even more visitors to the museum.