Louvre’s masterpieces head to the beach

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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s Bather, 1808

As many Parisians head off for a beach vacation, the Louvre has organised a staycation special that embraces the spirit of Paris Plage. Now in its 13th year, the artificial beach, which stretches three kilometres along the Seine from the Pont des Arts to the Pont de Sully, opened on Saturday (until 17 August). Along with the usual bargeloads of sand (5,000 tonnes), this edition is the first to boast an art gallery. The Louvre has selected five works from its collections to adorn – in high-quality reproduction – the corner of the beach by the Tuileries tunnel. Paintings of bathers by Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher and Ingres, and a sculpture of the goddess Diana bathing, could possibly tempt the city’s sunseekers to take a dip. (Bathing is forbidden in the river.) Beach diversions offered by the museum include activities for families, exhibition catalogues to browse and prize draws for entry tickets.

From In The Frame

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