The Louvre Museum in Paris, France is undeniably among the world’s largest museums and a historical landmark. This 60,600 square meters long-standing museum is established on the Right Bank of the Seine at the heart of Paris, accommodating almost 35,000 arts and artifacts covering early history up to the 21st century.
The establishment is lodged in the Louvre Fortress, formerly constructed as a stronghold during the reign of Philip II. At present, the fragments of the castle are still perceptible in the cellar. The palace has received several modifications and enhancements in terms of its size, which leads to the present design of the Louvre Palace.
It was ruled that Louvre should be converted as a gallery to exhibit the country’s masterworks. The collection was increased during the reign of Napoleon and it was renamed as the Museum of Napoléon. Furthermore, the collections were increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and by the time of the Second French Empire, the collections boosted to 20,000 pieces.
Some of the well-known art exhibitions include the Mona Lisa portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, Virgin and Child with St. Anne, St. John the Baptist, and Madonna of the Rocks. In 2008 the collection in the museum was expanded and was divided into eight sections which are the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan Artefacts; Sculptures; Embellished Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings; Egyptian Relics; Near Eastern Antiquities; and Islamic Art.
The section where Egyptian Antiquities are kept comprises of 30 rooms housing more than 50,000 relics from the Nile civilizations, which date from 4,000 BC to the 4th century.
Aside from pyramids, Egypt is also well known for its Sphinx and a Large Sphinx guards the section for Egyptian relics. When the Egyptian museum opened, it came as a wonderful surprise to the public as the museum usually exhibits Roman and Greek paintings and relics. Among the statues and artefacts inside the section are Egyptian pharaohs, religious artefacts and everyday objects.
One statue that really gets attention is the Great Sphinx of Tanis located in Room 11. According to the historians and archaeologists, the relic was made around 1750 B.C., end of the Middle Egyptian Empire. The granite splendour weighs 9.5 tons and it is said that King Ramses II and his son King Merenptah, fourth ruler of Prehistoric Egypt’s 19th Dynasty, had their names imprinted in the statue five hundred years later.
The Sphinx, being associated with the sun god, represents meaningful elements during Ancient Egypt. It is a beast lying down with a body of a lion and a male human head. It signifies power and authority. It symbolizes the Egyptian king as a defender of his people and vanquisher of the adversaries of Egypt. It has more positive connotation compared to its female counterpart in the sphinx in Greek mythology.
As you see the inscriptions on the chest and around the base of the statue, you will feel a sense of understanding about how the people of the Ancient Egypt honour and commemorate the greatness of their Kings and how dedicated and creative they are by making a masterpiece out of a rock.