“Inventing le Louvre”: Napoleon’s Carpet First Travelled Overseas, Now Exhibited in Hong Kong

Louvre Museum, the largest museum of the world, is located far on the riverside of Seine in Paris for history and art lovers in Hong Kong; despite that, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Louvre Museum jointly present the exhibition “Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years” now in the city, offering the valuable chance for us to closely appreciate 126 treasures across categories from the Louvre Museum’s collection.

Among all the exhibit highlights, “the carpet in the Throne Room of the Tuileries Palace” has left the Louvre Museum for its very first time. Circular-shaped, with a diameter of 39 cm, the wool carpet shows Napoleon's coat of arms in the central medallion. The eagle motif is a symbol of the imperial power. Back in that time, the carpet was placed in the Tuileries Palace right in front of the throne of Napoleon, and all civil servants and officials could only stand or kneel outside it. After the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled; but fortunately passing down from emperor to emperor, the carpet has remained secured in the Palace to this day.

The carpet is grandiosely placed at the centre of the exhibition hall.

The horse head, another exhibit highlights, excavated from Greece with a history of 2,500 years, was found damaged when exhibited in Beijing earlier. According to the curator, Pascal Torrès, the Museum may not lend it for outside exhibitions after this time.

Besides the collections, the exhibition also explores the 800-year history of the Louvre from the origins of the very idea of a museum, born of the royal collections of François I and Louis XIV to modern times, marked by renovations and profound architectural, functional and muse-graphical changes. The drafts of the glass pyramid of the Louvre by Ieoh Ming Pei are also showcased.

Moreover, there is an education zone, which represents the treasure room of the first Director of the Louvre, Mr Vivant Denon. Visitors are able to see a wide range of exhibits and can learn of their wonderful stories through interactive programmes and screenings.


Other Exhibit Highlights

Book of the Dead of the Nesmin: Scene of the weighing of the Heart
Late Period of Ancient Egypt

Saint Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom
Anthony van Dyck
Oil on canvas
Circa 1617–1619

Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV as a Roman Emperor
François Girardon
Statue: bronze; base: ebony with copper and brass marquetry, gilded bronze
Early 18th century

Jean de la Fontaine (1621–1695), Writer
Pierre Julien

Round Bowl with Cover
Agate and enameled gold

Rinaldo in the Enchanted Forest
Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Oil on canvas

Christ Healing the Sick or The Hundred-Guilder Print
Rembrandt van Rijn
Drypoint, etching, burin

Statue of Prince Gudea, Dedicated to the Goddess Bau
Neo-Sumerian period, 2120 B.C.


Exhibition Details

Date: April 26, 2017 - July 24, 2017
Venue: 1/F Thematic Galleries 1, 2, 3, 4 and Function Place, Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Exhibition Website


Opening Information of Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Opening Hours:
10:00 - 18:00, Mondays, Wednesdays to Fridays
10:00 - 19:00, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
(Closed on Tuesdays)

1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong

+852 2180 8188

Standard (Adult) HK$20
Group (20+ persons) HK$14
Concessionary (Full-time students, people with disabilities, senior citizens aged 60+) HK$10


(Picture: Hong Kong Heritage Museum; Information Services Department)