Every summer, Paris installs sand and beach chairs along the Seine for an event called Paris Plages. And for the second year in a row, the Musée du Louvre is participating with an activity area, complete with reproductions of artworks from its collection.
FROM THE SEINE TO THE NILE
The theme this year? "On the Banks of the Nile in Ancient Egypt". An enormous Blue Hippo greets visitors (an enlargement of a tiny artwork in the Louvre's collection), and two walls surround the activity tables with images of river-related Ancient Egyptian artworks and a life-size photograph of the Nile.
I loved the idea of learning about the Nile along the banks of the Seine. What an interesting new way to look at these artworks that were so clearly inspired by the Nile, with a river flowing right by!
There are many activities associated with this event, including drop-in artistic workshops for kids (and adults!). A wooden hut features a library of Louvre exhibition catalogues and books for all ages about Ancient Egypt. Activity worksheets are available at any time for kids to color.
When I visited, it started to seriously rain, so I contented myself to spend a moment with an exhibition catalogue in the hut.
And did I mention the swag? There are fun buttons and postcards to be collected at the hut.
TIES WITH THE MUSEUM
I think the true success of this event lies in the fact that it ties the activities back to the museum, which is just across the street. Some of these initiatives include:
- A daily lottery lets participants enter to win free tickets to the Louvre.
- Certain activities for kids include a visit to the museum itself.
- A flyer with a map of the Louvre shows where to find the Ancient Egyptian art in the museum and mentions activities offered year-round at the museum about Ancient Egypt.
- An activity guide is offered for children to be used during a visit of the Ancient Egyptian galleries of the Louvre.
The Louvre at Paris Plages is an event in its own right, but it does a good job of reminding visitors that it is but a taste of the wonders that can be found across the street.
The Louvre at Paris Plages (July 20 - August 16, 2015)
Address: At the west end of Paris Plages on the voie George Pompidou by the Tunnel des Tuileries ∣ Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 or 7) ∣ Opening hours: Every day from 10am to 6:30pm, open until 8pm on Wednesday and Friday