Louvre City

(La Ville Louvre). When the doors of the Louvre close to the public, the museum comes alive. Marble figures glide ethereally along the gallery floors; pictures come down from the walls and dust falls off of ancient beings long trapped in storage; priceless works languish along the floorboards, as if waiting for the inspiration to be hung; a statue, hapless looking as it is carted through the streets of Paris, once in place appears serene. If this sounds like an animated fantasy, it is not; Louvre City is a delightful documentary excursion behind the scenes at the Louvre during its renovation and reinstallation after the unveiling of I. M. Pei's pyramid. Economical and poetic, entirely without commentary, it shows an extraordinary team effort by preparators, curators, and custodians as equal players in the game of art. Messengers roller-skate down miles of corridors. Carpenters ponder the artworks and curators ponder the decision to “show the collection.” In revealing the seams in the canvas, Louvre City joyfully demystifies both art and its most celebrated palace.

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