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The Louvre goes to the movies (again)

11 June 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Curators across the world are excited about the news that, in her latest incarnation, Wonder Woman is by day an ancient weapons specialist at the Louvre. With her new job, in the new Patti Jenkins directed movie, the DC Comics superhero becomes probably the most high-profile antiquities expert at the movies since Indiana Jones first picked up his spade and set out from ‘Marshall College, Connecticut’ in search of lost arks and Nazis.

This is, of course, hardly the first time the Paris museum has been immortalised on the silver screen. To name just two films in which it has played a significant role, Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande à part (1964) famously featured its three protagonists scampering through the Louvre’s galleries, while – in a more embarrassing outing for the museum in  2006 – The Da Vinci Code imagined it as the centre of a sinister Opus Dei conspiracy.

However, champions of the Louvre haven’t universally accepted its longstanding kowtow to Hollywood. When the be-helmeted mug of Darth Vader was used as the principal marketing image for an exhibition at the museum’s Petite Galerie, Tribune de l’art editor Didier Rykner advised his readers to ‘go to the Louvre, but see the real galleries. Much better that than this ersatz museum experience.’

The Rake can only hope that Wonder Woman’s specialist credentials spare her such bad reviews…

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