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Word Count: 870
The Louvre The Louvre for hundreds of years it has been a part of French culture As a medieval fortress in the beginning the palace for the King of France and a museum for the last two centuries this place has been a milestone for the FreNch The Louvre has been a piece of history for over 800 years Its architecture was very advanced for its time and is still considered advanced for the 21st century In the beginning The Louvre was used as a royal palace It was built by King Phillippe Augustine in the late 12th century The library of Charles V - installed in one of the towers of the original fortress of Philippe August - was eventually taken away and to this day no one knows how Franois I began a new collection of art with 12 paintings from Italy These included works by Titian Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci the most famous being the Joconde or Mona Lisa The royal collection grew and by the reign of Louis XIII numbered roughly 200 pieces Henri II and Catherine de Mdicis continued to enlarge the collection as did others When Louis XIV died in 1715 there were 2500 pieces of art and objects Until the Revolution this collection was strictly for the private pleasure of the Court Finally the idea of a museum originating with Louis XVI was realized on 10 August 1793 when the Muse de la Rpublique opened to the public Napolon greatly increased the collections by exacting tribute from the countries he conquored but most of these were returned in 1815 after his defeat at Waterloo Under Louis XVIII the Venus de Milo was aquired for 6000F shortly after it was rediscovered on the Island of Melos in 1820 In 1848 the museum became the property of the State With an annual budget devoted to aquiring new art the collections continued to grow Private donations also augmented the
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