Le Louvre finds renewed focus in town of Lens

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As PERHAPS the world’s most famous art gallery, the Louvre has long been synonymous with Parisian and French culture.

But yesterday socialist President François Hollande inaugurated a regional offshoot of the illustrious gallery … in the former mining town of Lens, northern France.

The 150 million development will house a rotating collection of 205 works from the Louvre, as well as temporary exhibitions.

Its modern glass and polished metal design bears some resemblance to the pyramid entrance to the Paris gallery commissioned by François Mitterand in the 1980s. But, as befits a project intended to create jobs, while the Louvre looks onto the elegant Tuileries Gardens, the Lens gallery offers views of RC Lens football club’s stadium.