Paris • For nearly a decade, one of the world's greatest palaces has also housed a dusty building site. Now, thanks to a 26 million-euro ($35.4 million) restoration, one of the Louvre Museum's most exciting collections, the 18th century decorative arts wing, has been re-opened to its full glory.
Paid for entirely by private donations, the nine-year restoration modernized creaky halls and corridors and built new rooms for over 2,000 design objects. They start with the reign of France's Louis XIV, who lived in the Louvre, to his successors Louis XV and Louis XVI.
The latter's lavish court brought such contempt and outrage that it helped spurn the French Revolution.