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Louvre to move its reserve collection out of Paris

Sept. 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The Louvre, possibly the world's most famous art museum, plans to move its reserve collection out of Paris to avoid the risk of flood damage, an official said.

Works owned by the museum but not on display are currently stored in the basement of the massive building on the banks of the Seine River. Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, speaking on Friday, France's National Heritage Day, said they will be transferred to a facility in northern France, The Local.fr reported.

The Louvre owns about 460,000 works of art but only about 35,000 are on display in the museum at any given time. Paris suffered a disastrous flood in 1910, and officials have warned for years there could be a repeat.

Filippetti said the works will be moved to a facility owned by the Louvre in Lens, a city near the Belgian border and about 50 miles southeast of the port of Calais. Lens is about 90 feet above sea level.

The minister said the Louvre, working with national and regional officials, needs a "complete overhaul" in the management of the reserve collection.

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