The stale crossaints I have for breakfast each day are beginning to bore me. At least the big pot of coffee they give me is good, making it all worthwhile.
I made it to the Louvre early enough to avoid any long waits to get a ticket. It’s relatively cheap to get in and the tickets last all day so that you can leave and re-enter at will.
Not wanting to be a complete tourist-whore, I put off seeing the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa until later. The first section I explored was the gallery of French sculptures, my favourite being Puget’s Perseus and Andromeda (particularly because of the look on Medusa’s head).
I wandered through the arts of Islam, Mesopotapotamia, ancient Iran, Egypt and Greece. I sat for a while in each major section, reading the information cards bound in hard, clear plastic (none of the signs on the exhibits are in English). I found the Code of Hammurabi fascinating and quite refreshing in that barely anyone had come to see it when I was there (or probably at all, really).
The time had come. I took a deep breath and began pushing my way through the crowds swarming the southern wing of the first floor. Each room became warmer and warmer due to body heat and I eventually made my way into the room housing the Venus de Milo. It was boring.
By the way, Louis XV’s coronation crown in the Apollo gallery is actually quite ugly. The interior of the “swanky” rooms are also somewhat garish and too busy for my minimalistic tastes.
I pushed on through the crowds and followed the paper photos of the Mona Lisa until the only thing between its suprisingly small self and I was a thick, glass protective window and about 200 people trying to get a good look. I walked around the room to see if her eyes followed me. I guess they did, but it felt like the other paintings were doing the same thing. Quickly growing tired of the big crowds and never being particularly interested in art, I left the Louvre.
Now, I feel I should mention that while I appreciate art and the astounding talent required to produce all the stuff in there, I find artefacts that contribute to and impact on society (as opposed to culture) more interesting, such as Hammurabi’s code.
Tonight I’m going to watch more football and drink more beer. I should be meeting up with Benecke soon. We’re going to Bordeaux on Thursday!