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Glass pyramid in Louvre, Paris, France

September 5th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The Louvre Pyramid is a large metal and glass pyramid which serves as the main entrance to the Musée du Louvre and has become a landmark for the city of Paris.

Commissioned by the French president François Mitterrand, it was built in 1989 by the architect I. M. Pei from New York, who was responsible for the design of the Miho Museum in Japan among others. The structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments, reaches a height of 20.6 meters (about 70 feet); its square base has sides of 35 meters (115 feet). It consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments.

The pyramid and the underground lobby underneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre's original main entrance, which could no longer handle an enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis. Visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby then re-ascend into the main Louvre buildings. Several other museums have duplicated this concept, most notably the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

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