Hong Kong Heritage Museum features works from the Louvre to mark 20th anniversary of city’s return to Chinese rule

Exhibition also comes as annual festival Le French May hits 25th anniversary

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 11:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 11:39pm

A man at Hong Kong’s Heritage Museum walks down steps featuring a replica of the masterpiece The Three Fates and The Triumph of Truth by Peter Paul Rubens. This is no ordinary presentation of art.

An exhibition at the museum, titled “Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 years”, features 126 treasures from the world-famous institution in Paris. It is one of the major exhibitions being put on to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty as well as the 25th anniversary of the annual festival Le French May.

The statues, paintings, sculptures and antiques include works by Jean de la Fontaine, Pierre Julien and Anthony van Dyck. The oldest item is a horse’s head from 2,500 years ago. But do not expect to see the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci since it isfar too valuable to be moved out of the Louvre.

The exhibit also focuses on the Louvre’s history.It was built as a military fortress in the late 12th century and reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. It later became an art museum, opening to the public after theFrench revolution in 1789. It is now the largest museum in the world.

“Today, you can see museums of everything, anything. There is a museum of fashion wardrobe. But Louvre is not about fashion. It is about ideology, about real democracy, real liberty. It was born of that. And today it is open to the world.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said: “On display in the exhibition is a fine selection of paintings, drawings, artworks and crafts as well as sculptures from the Louvre collections. Among them are treasures from the royal collections of the kings of France and artwork from donors over the centuries.

“This exhibition not only offers art connoisseurs the opportunity to have a closer view of some of the most famous works of art and artefacts in the world, but also provides the community of Hong Kong with an inspirational journey through the history of a major museum and its affinity with world civilisations.”

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum will also launch a series of educational activities, introducing audiences to the milestones of the Louvre and its collections in an interesting and innovative way. The programme series will include dramatised and guided tours, talks and workshops.

Admission to the exhibition, which runs until July 24, costs HK$20.