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"Near Eastern Antiquities at Le Louvre." Top 5 Page for this destination Musée du Louvre Tip by breughel

Musée du Louvre, Paris: 795 reviews and 1,577 photos

  Louvre - human-headed winged bull
by breughel
  • Louvre - human-headed winged bull - Paris
      Louvre - human-headed winged bull
    by breughel
  • Louvre - "Hero Overpowering a Lion" - Paris
      Louvre - "Hero Overpowering a Lion"
    by breughel
  • Louvre - Frieze of the archers - Paris
      Louvre - Frieze of the archers
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  • Louvre - Frieze of the lions - Paris
      Louvre - Frieze of the lions
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  • Louvre - "Goudea prince of Lagash" - Paris
      Louvre - "Goudea prince of Lagash"
    by breughel

This is one of the most spectacular departments of the Louvre with the Cour Khorsabad on the ground floor of the Richelieu wing. My first visit was here in the nineties and I like at each of my visits to the museum to spend at least a half hour among the winged human-headed bulls, lions, royal archers of these very ancient empires.
The Near Eastern Antiquities Department has for object the ancient civilizations of the Near East. This period extends from ten thousand years ago, to the advent of Islam. The names of Sumer, Ur, Babylonia, Hittites, Assyria and many others are illustrated in this department.

The Cour (courtyard) Khorsabad was named after a city in northern Iraq where excavations (1843-1854) showed the existence of a palace build by King Sargon II in 706 BC. The excavations were started by Paul-Emile Botta consul of France in Mossoul. Sad for the Louvre is the fact that during transport on the river Tigris a large part of the objects found in Khorsabad were lost in a shipwreck.

The architecture of the palace was recreated by displaying in their original configuration the monumental sculptures which were found.
Most spectacular are the human-headed winged bulls of 4 x 4 m (photo 1). They were protective genies placed as guardians at the gates of the city. Visitors always like to have their photo taken in front of these bulls but one of them is a copy (the original is in the Oriental Institute of Chicago).
The "Hero Overpowering a Lion" is also one of the major sculptures (5,52 m high) of this part of the Louvre (photo 2).

Most famous in this department are the glazed brick decorations of the palace of Darius at Suza with the frieze of the archers (photo 3) and the frieze of the lions (photo 4) in room 12b.
Special and well conserved for his age (2100 BC) is that seated statue of Goudea prince of Lagash (Sumer) in room 2.
As this Near Eastern department covers 25 rooms a half hour visiting might be a bit short!

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 to 18 h.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 to 22 h.
Closed on Tuesday

Entrances to the museum:
Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: from 9 to 22 h.
Passage Richelieu entrance: from 9 to 18 h.
Porte des Lions entrance: from 9 to 17.30 h., except Friday.

Price tickets for the Permanent Collections (2012)
€10: full-day access to the Louvre, except for temporary exhibitions in the Hall Napoléon
also valid for the Musée Eugène Delacroix.
Free less than 18 yr.
Free 18 - 25 yr from the EU.
Free for all on the first Sunday of every month.

Address: Wing Richelieu and Sully, ground floor.
Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
Phone: +33 1 40 20 50 50

Review Helpfulness: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 3, 2012
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