France’s Louvre gets first female head in 228 years – Times of India


PARIS: France on Wednesday appointed Laurence des Cars, known for promoting social issues through art, as the new head of the Louvre — the first time a woman will be in charge of the world’s biggest museum since it first opened 228 years ago.
Des Cars currently runs the Musee d’Orsay, the Paris landmark museum dedicated to 19th-century art, where she is already the first-ever woman boss. Her legacy there includes boosting young visitor numbers and giving art and visitors more physical space.
During her four years at the Orsay, the 54-year-old art historian has taken a stance on some controversial topics, including by coming out in favour of restituting works looted by Nazis. “A great museum must face history, including by looking back at the history of our owns institutions,” she had said. She was instrumental in France’s decision for the Orsay to hand back a Gustav Klimt painting, “Roses”, to the heirs of its previous owner Nora Stiasny. The Nazis had stolen it from her in Vienna in 1938. Under Des Cars’s leadership, the museum’s 2019 exhibition “Black Models: From Gericault to Matisse” focused on previously overlooked black figures in French art.
Des Cars, who comes from a family of writers and journalists, will in September succeed Jean-Luc Martinez, credited with making Louvre more accessible and less elitist.





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