The Korea Herald


Louvre’s ‘Winged Victory’ flies off for restoration

By Korea Herald

Published : Sept. 4, 2013 - 20:26

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PARIS (AP) ― “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” the hulking Hellenistic sculpture that dominates the Louvre Museum’s most frequented staircase, is taking flight ― away from tourists’ gazes for a restoration project.

Officials at the famed Paris museum said the 2nd-century B.C. sculpture was set to be dismantled, hoisted onto rollers and wheeled into a closed cabin in another Louvre gallery for structural work and a meticulous cleaning to restore the original hues to its marble over the next nine months.

The 5.9-meter sculpture shows the headless, armless remains of the winged Greek goddess of victory, Nike, as she lands on a ship’s bow atop a flat base. The work’s flowing garments, energized pose with right leg extended and outstretched wings point to an expert rendering in the high-quality Paros marble, which has yellowed with time, Louvre officials said.

The sculpture towers over the Louvre’s Daru staircase ― which leads museum-goers to the “Mona Lisa” ― and is also being refurbished: Visitors will see scaffolding. The 4 million-euro ($5.27 million) project, which will take “Winged Victory” out of visitors’ sight until June, follows three years after another Louvre masterpiece, the “Venus de Milo,” was touched up.

On Tuesday, the Louvre’s weekly closing day, work crews erected scaffolding and bustled on the statue’s base as the project got underway.