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20 Facts About The Louvre Museum You’ll Find Fascinating After Watching ‘Lupin’

Lupin is a French crime drama that debuted this month on Netflix. The series is the first French series to debut on the U.S top ten list. Lupin tells the story of Assane Diope (Omar Sy) a man who seeks revenge against the wealthy Pellegrini family that drove his father to suicide. The Pellegrinis framed Diope’s father for a crime he didn’t commit—stealing a necklace they owned that once belonged to Queen Marie Antionette but is now in the Louvre Museum.

Years later Diope plans to steal that very necklace from the Louvre Museum, where Diope works as a janitor. Diope is inspired by a book his father gave him about a character named Arsene Lupin, a gentleman burglar who was a master of deception and disguise. Here are 20 things you may not have known about the real-life Louvre Museum that plays a role in Lupin.

  1. The Louvre Is The Biggest Museum In the World

The Louvre covers an area of 782, 910 square feet, with 280 tennis courts.

2. The Musee du Louvre and Musee National Eugene Delacroix Are Closed Until Further Notice

This is because the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing.

3. The Louvre Draws in 10 million People Annually

Although parts of the museum are still currently closed, visitors can still check out the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens.

The Tuileries Garden (Source: Landen Kerr)

4. The Louvre Was Built In 1190

The world-famous art museum was originally built as a fortress. It was then renovated in the 16th century so it could be used as a royal palace.

5. King Louis XVI And Marie Antoinette Were Imprisoned Near the Louvre

The monarchs were imprisoned in Tuileries Palace before their executions. The Tuileries Palace was adjacent to the Louvre at the time.

6. The Louvre Has Been Home to the Mona Lisa Since 1804

The iconic DaVinci painting is kept behind bulletproof glass.

7. Marie Antoinette’s Necklace May Have Caused the French Revolution

Marie Antoinette’s diamond necklace that serves as a plot point in Lupin gave the original owner a lot of trouble as well. The Affair of the Diamond Necklace involved a sex worker disguised as Antoinette and a Cardinal, tricked into purchasing the necklace thinking he was doing so for Antoinette herself. Ironically Antoinette never wanted the necklace, but the French people still blamed her for the whole affair and the incident only inflamed growing distrust of the French monarchy. Antoinette was later beheaded. The real necklace is question has since been lost and is not actually at the Louvre.

Antoinette also never said, “Let Them Eat Cake.” (Source:

8. King Francis I Started The Louvre’s Art Collection

King Francis I was the monarch who rebuilt the Louvre, fashioning it from a fortress to a royal residence. Francis was responsible for starting the Louvre’s art collection, with pieces from Francis’s collection still residing at the Louvre today, including the Mona Lisa.

9. The Louvre is also home to the Venus de Milo

The historic Greek statue without arms is another world-famous piece of art housed at the Louvre.

Source: The Louvre

10. Tickets to the Louvre Cost About 20 to 23 Dollars

Admission is free for visitors under the age of 18, art teachers and more. Check out the list to see if you’d qualify for free admission here.

11. Admission is Free for Everyone On Bastille Day

July 14th is the national day of France, to commemorate the historic storming of the Bastille in 1789.

12. The Louvre Pyramid Was Designed by a Chinese-American Architect

I.M Pei’s pyramid was designed to help accommodate the large amount of visitors the Louvre received every day. The original entrance wasn’t large enough. The pyramid was completed in 1989.

Source: The Louvre

13. It Would Take 200 Days to See Every Piece of Art at the Louvre

The museum houses about 550,000 works. It would take the average visitor 200 days to see every piece if they took 30 seconds per art piece.

14. The Louvre was Evacuated during World War II

Fearing the worst for France and the threat of German occupation, French Musees Nationaux Director Jacques Jaujard organized the evacuation of the Louvre’s extensive art collection from the museum, including the Mona Lisa. It was one of the rare moments in history where the halls of the Louvre were chillingly bare. The evacuation commenced in August 1939.

Source: Unknown

15. The Nazis Used the Louvre to House Stolen Artwork

Jaujard’s instincts were correct. Germany occupied France the following year on June 14, 1940. The Nazis used the Louvre as a space to prepare stolen artwork from primarily Jewish owners for transfer to Germany. This was known as the Louvre sequestration.

16. Vistor Rates Fell By Over 70 Percent in 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hit the famous Louvre museum hard, with a 72 percent drop in visitors for 2020. You can still check out select pieces online at the official Louvre website, and even enjoy a virtual tour.

17. Pablo Picasso Was Accused of Stealing the Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911 and the young artist Picasso became a source of suspicion. Why? He had been given two African sculptures by a friend that had been in fact stolen from the Louvre. Picasso pleaded his innocence in court and his name was cleared. The Mona Lisa was found three years later in 1914.

18. Ironically Picasso Would Go On to be the First Living Artist to have an Exhibition at the Louvre

It was to honor the artist in 1971 for his 90th birthday.

19. The Only Major Art Heist From the Louvre was the Theft of the Mona Lisa

Diop manages to successfully steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace in the first episode of Lupin, but the only confirmed Louvre heist in real-life was the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911.

20. The Louvre is on the Right Bank of the River Seine

France’s famous Arc de Triomphe is also located on the right bank.

Netflix has already confirmed that Lupin will return for a second season.

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