US artist Cy Twombly decorates Louvre ceiling

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The Independent Culture

US artist Cy Twombly unveiled his latest work in one of the oldest wings of Paris's Louvre museum Tuesday, a blue ceiling with discus-shaped colours which the 81-year-old completed with help of assistants.

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand attended the unveiling of the piece and appointed the painter a knight of France's top National Order of the Legion of Honour.

"Thank you very much. I am very happy," the artist said, as his son and grand-children looked on.

Decorated with the names of sculptors from ancient Greece, the ceiling - a personal gift from the artist - appears to float over the Greek and Roman statuettes on display in the museum.

Mitterrand paid tribute to Twombly for having "combined the brilliance of contemporary art with the splendors of ancient art".

The museum bore all expenses of the 400-square-metre (4,300-square-feet) work, which was financed through the patronage of the Janet Wolfson de Botton Foundation and funds from the Gagosian Gallery.

Twombly is the third contemporary artist since 2007 to create a decorative painting for France's grandest museum, after Germany's Anselm Kiefer and Francois Morellet of France.