Visiting the Louvre in Paris

By: Sophie Lakin

I recently took a trip to Paris and of course, visited the Louvre. It was so crazy to me how much famous art is in there like the Mona Lisa and the Code of Hammurabi. Personally, I thought the Mona Lisa was crazy overhyped and I feel like people dismiss the other amazing art that is in the Louvre. 

Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t like the Mona Lisa, it is just that it is world-renowned and in person it is so tiny. The thing that actually blew me away was the Egyptian art and the code of Hammurabi. It is crazy to me that you are just able to see one of the first legal texts in history just in front of your eyes. from I started to think how do museums get a hold of this art? 

After some research, I found out that during the French Revolution the National Assembly decided that the Louvre would be dedicated to showcase the nation’s art. But how did they get the code of Hammurabi and other non- French art? I found out that the code of Hammurabi was previously in Susa, Iran where it had been taken as plunder. Eventually, a French Orientalist by the name of Jean-Vincent Schiel rediscovered it in 1901 and it now resides in the Louvre.

Although the answer is not super clear about how museums get their art, it kind of seems as if there is some sort of finders keepers rule.