On air
  • RFI English Live
  • RFI French Live

Paris Louvre Art

Issued on • Modified

Artist JR remodels Louvre Pyramid in eye-popping collage

French artist JR poses with volunteers during preparation works of his installation in the main courtyard Cour Napoleon of the Louvre Museum in Paris on 27 March, 2019. Thomas Samson/AFP

French artist JR has put the final touches on a huge collage in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum. Along with 400 volunteers, he spent four days pasting strips of printed paper on the cobbles of the Cour Napoleon.

Three years ago, French artist JR gave the Louvre Pyramid a very different treatment, covering it in a giant trompe-l'oeil that made it look as if it had disappeared.

The artist – famous for blowing up photographs into huge collages – promised that his latest workwould reveal "the secret of the great pyramid".

A camera on the roof of the Louvre fed images to two giant screens which appear to show the pyramid emerging from its foundations, as if from a giant quarry of white rock.

Some 400 volunteers working in teams of 50 spent four days pasting strips of printed paper on the cobbles of the courtyard, creating a giant patchwork around the pyramid.

"There are more than 2,000 strips to paste on the ground, each ten metres long, so it's a huge puzzle. And when you're on the puzzle you don't see what you're doing," the artist told the AFP news agency.

"It's great. We're like children watching this pyramid grow before our eyes."

Hated by many Parisians when it was unveiled on 29 March, 30 years ago, Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei's creation has wormed its way into their hearts and is now revered like one of the Louvre's greatest treasures, such as the "Mona Lisa" and the "Venus de Milo".