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A Museum in a Grand Railway Station

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Most everyone knows about one of the most popular museums in Paris, France the Louvre. Paris has many other museums as well and they are equally worth visiting. The Musee d’Orsay is located on the left bank of the Seine and is opposite the Louvre. It has found its home in the Gare d’Orsay which was once a grand railway station constructed especially for the 1900 World’s Fair.

Once the platforms of the train station had become too short for trains that had become much larger it was closed in 1939. Soon it was necessary to decide what to do with this building and in its time it was used as a parking lot, a shooting stand, a theater and a reception center for prisoners of war. It was put on the list of Historic Monuments in 1978. The French Government had already decided to convert it into a museum in 1977.

The museum was officially opened in December 1986 by the then-President Francois Mitterand. Visitors can see French art from 1848 to 1914. The exhibits include paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Different artistic movements are represented among them Academism, Realism, Impressionism, and others. Today it houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces nearly 1,100 paintings.


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