The Louvre Museum
, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property.
Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801.
The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners.
The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic.
The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France
Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17 (except Tuesday)