Andrew Graham-Dixon confuses the size of Le Grand Louvre with its latest wing. It is only if you add the Aile Richelieu to the 30,000-square-metre Louvre that you achieve Le Grand Louvre at 52,000 square metres. Of course, this is not enough for Mitterameses I. By 1997, Le Grand Louvre will emerge at 60,000 square metres - Paris first.
Yes, this costs millions in any currency, but I detect an acute business acumen. Quoting Le Monde again, the Louvre had 2.7 million visitors before the Pyramid (1988), four million after, in 1989, and 4.9 million in 1992. With the opening of the Richelieu wing, it is anticipated this will rise to 5.5 million. Sixty-four per cent of all visitors are foreign and 20 per cent descend in groups. We might have had something equally attractive for the tourist industry if we had kept Thatcherameses II, but what do we get with Majorameses III? Well, a demolished House and the three little converted rooms added to the National Portrait Gallery.
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