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The Louvre’s Petite Galerie is a special space set aside for art and cultural education for all ages, with a selection of artworks representing different periods and techniques in yearly exhibitions—an eye-opening experience which serves as a starting point for an exploration of the whole museum. For its fourth season, the exhibition “Archaeology Goes Graphic” will spark a dialogue between archaeology and the 2018–19 guest art form—comic book art. It will invite visitors to follow in the footsteps of amateur or professional archaeologists with a passion for antiquity and see how they discover “treasures,” unearth objects buried at different periods, then classify them and try to understand what they tell us about the past. All this while illustrating how comic book art (known as the “ninth art” in France) has, in a blend of fact and fiction, drawn inspiration from the archaeological finds that have contributed to the Louvre’s collections.

2018 marks the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France, as well as the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Meji period, when Japan opened up to the West. As part of the Japonisms 2018: souls in harmony cultural season, Throne will be displayed under the Pyramid of the Musée du Louvre. This monumental work by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa is entirely covered with gold leaf, and blends Japanese cultural tradition with cutting-edge technology. Nawa drew his inspiration from the shapes and origins of floats used in Eastern religious festivals. He made the work using a combination of the latest 3D modelling systems and the gold leaf gilding technique, echoing ancient Egypt and the collections of the Musée du Louvre. With this work, Nawa predicts that rapid advances in computer science and artificial intelligence could, in the long term, replace power and authority as the principal instruments of political and economic influence.

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