Louvre pyramid 30 years celebrated with new artwork

An artist has created a giant “anamorphosis” artwork around the glass pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris as part of celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the famous monument.

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As with all anamorphosis artwork, the piece - from the artist known as JR - is designed to be seen from one specific point, and gives the illusion of smaller pyramids popping out of the earth, when really it is a flat design on the ground.

It has been created to commemorate 30 years of the famous Louvre glass pyramid, which was inaugurated on March 29, 1989 by then-French President François Mitterrand.

It will be available to view in the Napoleon courtyard from Friday March 29 to Sunday March 31, and has kicked off a weekend of other events to celebrate the anniversary.

Two screens showing the artwork - and its creation process - will be installed at the front and back of the Napoleon courtyard, to allow guests to see the full scope of the piece.

Led by JR, the art has been created with the help of international volunteers, who have been working in teams of four to stick down the long strips of paper that make up the design.

JR said: “This is intrinsic to my work; the collaborative side...It is an anamorphosis. It is an image that you can only see from one single point. This point is in the museum, on the third floor [from a storage room]. That is why we are putting in screens, so that everyone has access to it.”

He added: “At the end of the day, the people that come here, they maybe will not have seen the real image but they will remember the people that they met.”

Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, son of the original pyramid architect Ieoh Ming Pei - and who worked with his father - said: “I like what [JR] has done; it’s great. It reminds me of when we were [first] excavating the site; that’s sort of where his idea came from.”

This is not the first time that JR has created a piece based on the pyramid outside the Louvre; three years ago, he “made the pyramid disappear” by sticking a specially-designed collage on to one of the sides.

To any onlookers standing in the correct spot, the pyramid would then appear to “disappear”, showing the façade of the museum building behind it instead.

At the time, the artist said: “I am playing with architecture...like a magician; and at the same time making [the pyramid] appear differently from different points of view.”

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