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The Louvre Museum, Paris

The Louvre Museum, Paris

You could tour the Musée de la Louvre every day for a week and still not see all the exhibits, it's so vast; you'd probably have a bad case of cultural overload by then anyway. The best plan is to get a museum guide in advance, decide what you'd most like to see, check which departments are closed or restricted for maintenance or rearrangement, join the queue well before opening time, and set out on your trek. Photography is allowed in most places in the museum, but not flash, for obvious reasons. The museum gets very crowded around 4pm when young people flood in after school; take photos of the popular exhibits before then!

The Winged Victory of Samothraki

I had an emotional moment in the museum when I suddenly came face to face with something I'd always wanted to see, and had somehow forgotten it was in this museum – the Winged Victory of Samothraki. My art teacher at school gave me a love of classical Greek architecture and sculpture, and fairly late in the day we walked up a flight of stairs to the third floor, I looked up and she was right in front of me, 11 feet high; she's meant to be Victory standing on the prow of a ship. The photo doesn't do her justice, it needs more skill than mine to convey the grace and energy of the sculpture; I meant to go back the next morning to photograph her with no crowds around, but never got there.

The Louvre entrance hall, beneath the pyramid

Right: The entrance hall, beneath the glass pyramid designed by the American architect, I M Pei. Although the Louvre is a 16th/17th century palace, the ambience is of a spacious, well-lit, modern gallery.

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