The Louvre Visits Atlanta

Art Business News,  Feb, 2005  

PARIS -- The Louvre announces the planned September 2006 opening of an outpost at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. An agreement between the two museums is in the process of being finalized and is expected to be signed within the next month. It states that the Louvre will lend hundreds of its works to the High Museum for an indefinite period of time in return for an undisclosed amount of money. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution estimates it to be $10 million for the first three years. This will enable the High Museum to present great works of art that are not available in any other public venue in the region. Among the works scheduled to come include pieces by Raphael, Ruebens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Watteau.

The Louvre's decision to lease some of its collections to the United States follows an emerging trend for art-rich museums to collaborate with cash-rich institutions. The Louvre said in a statement that the collaboration has been conceived "in part to find necessary funds--estimated at $10 million--to renovate the 18th-century furniture galleries" The museum gets 65 percent of its annual budget from the government, but since 2003 it has had to raise private funds for renovations and several other initiatives.

Another reason for the partnership is the longstanding friendship and history between the museum's directors, Michael E. Shapiro and Henri Loyrette. The two worked together previously, organizing exhibitions since 1999.


French legislation prevents works loaned abroad from
"State collections" for more than 10 months so the Louvre will periodically replace its display in Atlanta with new stock from France.

The Chambers Wing, which is part of the three-building, 177,000-square-foot expansion designed by Renzo Piano and opening in November 2005, will be dedicated to the Louvre project.

SOURCE: The Art Newspaper COPYRIGHT 2005 Pfingsten Publishing, LLC COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group