The Louvre – Egyptian Collection

Museum Overview

The Louvre is one of the largest and most popular museums in the world. The museum is a landmark of Paris, France and is located on the banks of the Seine River in the 1st arrondissement. Part of the building of the Louvre was built as a fortress in the 12th century. The building was used for a number of different purposes over the next few hundred years until during the French Revolution it was decreed that it should be used as a museum. In 1793, the museum officially opened with 537 paintings and 184 objects on display. From 1796 to 1801 the museum was closed due to structural deficiencies. Today, the Louvre occupies a space of more than 60,600 square meters and houses more than 380,000 pieces and more than 35,000 works of art within eight curatorial departments. The Louvre is famous for its glass pyramid in the central courtyard above the visitor's center.

Plan Your Trip

The Louvre is located at Palais Royal, Musee du Louvre, Paris, France. Hotel Rooms in Paris can be booked at Paris Hotels. If you are on a limited budget, look at Cheap Hotels. They offer a selection of cheap hotels in Paris

The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm and Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 10pm. Entrance to the museum if from the Pyramid, Galerie du Carrousel, Passage Richelieu and Porte des Lions. Admission fees apply for permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Museum's Egyptian Collection

The Louvre is home to a large and comprehensive permanent collection of Egyptian antiquities. This collection contains artifacts and works of art that span the period between the late prehistoric era (4000 BC) and the Christian period (4th century AD). This includes the Late Pre-Historic Period to the Late Kingdom (3800 – 1710 BC), The New Kingdom (1550 – 1069 BC), The Late Pharaonic Dynasties and the Ptolemaic Period (1069 – 30 BC), Roman Egypt 30 BC – 392 AD), Christian Egypt (4th to twelfth centuries AD) and objects from every day life. The Department of Egyptian Antiquities in the Louvre was established in 1827 when Jean-Francois Champollion was appointed its curator. Today, the Egyptian collection contains more than 50,000 pieces making it one of the largest collections in the world.

The Egyptian collection in the Louvre is set up through a number of galleries on different floors of the museum. The heaviest objects in the collection needed to remain on the ground floor and so this floor is arranged in a thematic way focusing on Egyptian civilization. Rooms one through nine house the collection. There is a room (12) dedicated to Egyptian temples and one to sarcophagi (room 14).

On the first floor of the museum, rooms 20 to 30 are dedicated to the chronology of the development of Egyptian art and the different historical periods in Egyptian history. The Denon Wing around Cour Visconti houses objects related to Roman and Coptic Egypt. Mummy portraits are on display in the funerary art room and one can also find a gallery dedicated to Roman Egyptian culture and one to life in Egypt during the Byzantine period.

Some of the objects included in the Egyptian collection of the Louvre include a large Sphinx (2000 BC) which guards the galleries, mummies, sarcophagi, weapons, clothing, jewelry, tools, musical instruments, games, papyrus scrolls and art. Some of the collection's more famous pieces include the "the Seated Scribe", the large Sphinx, the "Gebel- El Arak" knife, the "Head of King Djedefre," the statue of Amenemhatankh, the "Offering Bearer," the depiction of Hathor and the statue of Nephthys.

Besides for their permanent collections, the Louvre displays many temporary and traveling exhibitions that are on loan to the museum. Examples of past traveling exhibitions include the "Portraits of Women in Egypt 1800 Years Ago" and the "Egypt, The Thread of History: Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic Textiles" exhibitions.

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