The piece, which was due to be exhibited at the famous art gallery from Friday March 29 to Sunday March 31 this week, began to show signs of wear and tear within hours of being created, visitors have said.
The artwork had been created by JR and a team of volunteers using a series of long “stickers”, which were laid on to the ground piece by piece to create the anamorphosis design.
“Anamorphosis” art is a style in which the artwork only makes sense from one single perspective.
Some areas of this design appear to have been damaged within hours of being placed, with reports suggesting that the glue did not hold in some cases, and that areas with heavy pedestrian traffic began to become damaged more quickly.
Others suggested that some visitors had torn off some of the work, to take home as a “souvenir”.
But in a statement, a Louvre spokesperson said it was expected.
They said: “It is to be expected that it would be damaged, but we did not know how quickly it would happen. The heat has dried the glue. In any case, it was scheduled to be taken down on Monday, so everything is OK.”
Before the damage took place, the artist JR was able to take a photograph from the exact right point - on the third floor of the Louvre, in a storeroom - to show the original design.
It showed the famous glass pyramid stretching far below the earth, looming out of an excavated crater at twice its usual height.
I finished this one for you Agnès Varda, you loved people, pasting and illusion ... ❤— JR (@JRart) March 30, 2019
I am sure you can see it. I did something that can be seen from the sky. Promised, I didn't know that it was for you pic.twitter.com/U5b29GMWJI
Visitors are still able to see the original design despite the damage, as originally planned. Screens have been set up at the museum entrance, to show the artwork from the correct position, and also demonstrate the behind-the-scenes of its creation.
The artwork was created as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the famous glass pyramid, which was designed and installed by architect Ieoh Ming Pei, and officially inaugurated on March 29, 1989.
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