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A New Louvre Will Open in Northern France


One of France’s biggest developments in 2012 is the opening of a regional branch of the Louvre in the city of Lens. Known as the Louvre-Lens, the new museum was designed by a team of Japanese and American architects, as well as a French landscape designer. The museum will be officially inaugurated on December 4, and will hold their big grand opening on December 12.

Lens, a former coal mining center, is located in the most northern region of France, just an hour and ten minutes from Paris by high-speed train, right between the cities of Lille and Arras. The museum is being constructed on a 50-acre site, which was once a mine yard in the heart of Lens.

The new museum will not have a permanent collection but rotate works from the Louvre’s collection, displaying art from each period and style. When it opens, 300 masterpieces from the Paris museum will be displayed. The Louvre-Lens will hold two major exhibitions a year, one in the summer, and the other in the winter.

The Louvre-Lens will also be unique in that it will give a behind-the-scenes view of the inner-workings of the museum by making its storerooms and restoration rooms visible and open to the public.

The museum will consist of five buildings, including four rectangular buildings with one large square building in the center, mirroring the design of the Louvre in Paris with its two outstretched wings. The central square structure, being constructed as a transparent glass pavilion, will be the main entrance to the museum. In total, the project will cost 150 million euros.

For more information, visit the Louvre-Lens website:


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