Magic at The Louvre

An online auction with Christie’s brings brings out 24 exceptional lots – once in a lifetime experiences at the heart of the Palais du Louvre, Paris – including a chance to get up close and personal with the Mona Lisa, unique art works by contemporary artists, and bespoke luxury objets and experiences by some of the world’s biggest luxury maisons.

The Musée du Louvre and Christie’s auction house, with the support of the Hôtel Drouot, are pleased to join forces to organize Bid for the Louvre, an unprecedented online auction. Proceeds will be entirely devoted to projects in support of the Musée du Louvre and the Studio, a new space dedicated to artistic and cultural education that will open in the fall of 2021. The auction, on Christie’s online platform, ends today.

For the first time, the Musée du Louvre is auctioning 24 exceptional lots: once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the heart of the Palais, bespoke services inspired by the Louvre, exclusive experiences created by some of the world’s leading luxury brands, and unique works of art kindly given by contemporary artists close to the museum, including Johan Creten, Candida Höfer, Eva Jospin, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Pierre Soulages and Xavier Veilhan.

Lifestyle Insider Eva Jospin (b. 1975), Foret

Some of the offered lots are quite unique and comprise world premieres such as the privilege of attending the annual examination of the Mona Lisa outside her display case, or the chance to walk through the rooftops of the Palais du Louvre in the company of the artist JR.

Virgil Abloh, multi-disciplinary creator, and Houses such as Cartier, Christian Dior Couture, Le Meurice, Le Ritz Paris, Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy, Parfums Christian Dior, and Vacheron Constantin, are amongst the prestigious participants – all sharing a strong bond and special history with the Louvre, and heavily involved in the choice and design of the lots for this auction. Behind each work of art, each creation, each experience offered in this sale, there is the generosity of an artist, a partner company or a patron of the museum.

“This period of the pandemic, which is hitting the most vulnerable in society first, makes this project even more necessary,” says Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Musée du Louvre. “The art community and those luxury brands with close ties to the Louvre responded instantly to our call for help, and I thank them very warmly. They know that educational projects are at the heart of the Louvre's work. That is why I wanted the proceeds from this major sale, organized with Christie's and Drouot, to be for them. Generosity will thus be put directly at the service of our community.”

“Everyone has been able to understand the difficulties that the pandemic has created for cultural institutions, and the Louvre is no exception,” says Cécile Verdier, President Christie’s France. “It is our great honour to support our friends at the Museum through this initiative. For many of us, the Louvre is a fabulous showcase for great artistic emotions. Thanks to the funds raised by this sale, promoting the Louvre's activities for audiences unfamiliar with museums is all the more meaningful in these troubled times.”

“Beyond the current health situation, which is quite incomparable, we can easily see how challenging it is for everyone to have access to culture,” says Alexandre Giquello, President of Drouot Patrimoine. “By supporting the "Bid for the Louvre" sale, we are delighted to participate in the democratization of our institutions and to support the Louvre's solidarity projects.”

Lifestyle Insider Arc du Carrousel - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Spend a romantic evening on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a stunning testament to the Napoleonic spirit of conquest. Located in the heart of the Louvre campus, the Arc du Carrousel was built by Napoleon I upon his victorious return from Austerlitz. The project was entrusted to the most talented architects, sculptors, and craftsmen in the Empire. In record time, they erected a lavish arch characterised by its abundance of precious materials and decorative sculpture. Take in a magical, panoramic view of the most beautiful monuments in Paris, surrounded by the spectacular Quadriga of Victory. Le Meurice, a neighbour of the Louvre and the first Parisian Palace since 1835, will prepare a chic picnic for you the two of you to enjoy on the terrace of the Arc du Carrousel.

Lifestyle Insider Concert des Rois - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

The Salle des Caryatides once served as a reception room to the kings of France; now it will host you and your guests for a concert performed in your honour. Today, the Salle des Caryatides is where the finest pieces from the Greek and Roman Antiquities collections are displayed, including Diana of Versailles, Sleeping Hermaphroditus and the Three Graces. This is the enchanting setting in which you and your guests will be treated to an extraordinary experience. Just as in the days of the French monarchy, the musicians will be installed on the balcony, where they will perform your private concert. As you sip a flute of champagne, open yourself to the magic of your surroundings and let your mind wander to the time of kings.

Lifestyle Insider La Joconde or the Mona Lisa - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

In the company of your guest and Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre, you will attend the inspection of the Mona Lisa. Each year, the Mona Lisa is taken down from the wall and removed from her glass case for a fleeting moment. This masterpiece, painted by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1503 on a very thin poplar panel, is threatened by a crack. Thus, the conservators in the department take advantage of this opportunity to check the condition of the world’s most famous painting. And you are invited to be a part of that very moment... You will be able to look straight into the eyes of the Mona Lisa and admire this iconic work from up close. The magical experience will continue with a private tour of the Italian masterpieces in the Grande Galerie by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Veronese and more.

Lifestyle Insider Hidden Treasures from the Cabinet des Dessins - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Uncover the gems in the drawings collection at the Musée du Louvre. The Department of Prints and Drawings includes more than 250,000 European drawings and engravings. The collection, which ranges from 1350 to today, is one of the largest in the world, from Durer to Rembrandt, Michelangelo to Goya, Poussin to Delacroix… These treasures, which are especially fragile and conserved out of the light, will be presented in a small viewing for you and your guests, giving you an extraordinarily close look at the lines drawn by the hands of the masters. You will see the most precious pieces in the collection and have the privilege to gaze upon masterpieces. This unprecedented and exceptional viewing will be conducted by Xavier Salmon, Director of the Department of Prints and Drawings.

Lifestyle Insider Explore the Louvre with its President - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Jean-Luc Martinez, President-director of the Musée du Louvre, art conservator and specialist in Greek statuary, will create for you an extraordinary and totally unprecedented adventure. Drawing on his 23 years of work at the Louvre, he will take you on a tour you will never forget. Together, you will revisit great moments in the history of France while enjoying the masterpieces that surround you. The tour will be a surprise to you and your guests because the President himself will decide on the itinerary!

Lifestyle Insider Toits du Louvre or take to the roofs of the Louvre with JR - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Follow JR on an adventure across the roofs of the Musée du Louvre. You and your guests will take an exceptional walk on the roofs of the Louvre in the company of artist JR and the museum’s fire brigade. JR adores the museum, especially the Pyramid, which he loves to make disappear or transform to encase his monumental collages. He is the perfect person to guide you along the roofs which he has trod many times to install his ephemeral works. Together you can admire the incomparable panorama encompassing the Seine and several Paris monuments and have a closer look at the sculptures adorning the façades of the Palais du Louvre. Take in a fabulous view of Paris from the roof of the world’s most beautiful museum with a mischievous guide who loves the Louvre!

Lifestyle Insider A Magical Evening by Torchlight - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind evening with your guests as you set out to explore the Musée du Louvre at night... You will stroll through the galleries in search of Winged Victory, Botticelli’s frescoes, Leonardo da Vinci works, David’s The Coronation of Napoleon or La Grande Odalisque by Ingres. It is a chance to engage privately with an artwork, to lose yourself in the silence and darkness and to rediscover the sumptuous architecture of this former palace of the kings of France. For this very unique experience led by an art historian, you will carry battery-powered torches which you can use to study the tiniest details of the masterpieces at the world’s greatest museum.

Lifestyle Insider Culinary Delights from the Louvre to the Ritz Paris

Take a themed tour of the Louvre with a focus on table arts and love of food. This delectable experience will continue at École Ritz Escoffier with a private pastry-making lesson and an exclusive meeting with Chef François Perret, who was recognized as the Best Pastry Chef in the World in 2019. He will invite you into his laboratory, the starting point for pastries that bewitch even the most refined and demanding palates. Stay then in a superb suite at Le Ritz Paris, where you can immerse yourself in the eternal magic of its Grand Siècle spirit. The Ritz Paris is the grand dame of Place Vendôme, where its elegance and audacity have fascinated the world since 1898. The École Ritz Escoffier is internationally recognized as the birthplace and standard bearer for French culinary excellence.

Lifestyle Insider Jardin des Tuileries - Louvre Experience. Illustration by Heloise Becker

Link your name, or the name of a loved one, to a freshly planted tree and a restored bench along the Grande Allée in the Tuileries Garden, in support of the ambitious renovation project that will restore André le Nôtre’s garden to its former glory. The tree you sponsor will be planted on the east end of the Grande Allée, having pride of place at the head of its row, across from the Arc du Carrousel and the Musée du Louvre. Just a few steps away, a restored stone bench will also be inscribed with the name of your choice, waiting to offer you respite on your walks through the Jardin des Tuileries. You will be invited to view your sponsored tree and bench at the private party marking the grand reopening of the Grande Allée in spring 2021.

Lifestyle Insider Panthere de Cartier diamonds, emerald, and onyx bracelet

A Panthère de Cartier bracelet will be given to its new owner during a private visit to the Palais du Louvre to view the crown jewels of France in the Apollo gallery. This exceptional piece will come with a journey into the craftsmanship of the Maison Cartier. You will tour the haute jewellery workshops located in the heart of Paris at an undisclosed location that is closed to the public with Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s Director of Image, Style and Heritage.

Lifestyle Insider A Handcrafted Haute Couture miniature dress by Dior in a personalized trunk

Christian Dior Couture offers you an exclusive experience consisting of a private visit to the Tuileries, focusing on Dior and the passion for this garden. This escape will be followed by an invitation within the heart of Dior Heritage to discover the secret archives of Monsieur Dior and his successors. During this journey, you will receive a trunk personalized with your initials, evoking the mansion at No. 30 Avenue Montaigne. In this stunning haven, you’ll discover a bespoke, handcrafted miniature dress in hand-pleated taupe silk gauze designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri for her Autumn-Winter haute couture 2020-2021 collection.

Lifestyle Insider L'Art de Vivre from the Louvre to Le Meurice

Embark on an exploration of the Louvre’s collections and enjoy an intimate moment in the company of masterpieces with your very own art historian. In this same spirit of exclusivity, continue your evening at Le Meurice, a Parisian luxury hotel located a few steps away. Sit down to dinner at the Michelin two-star restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse and feast on both the food and the lavish setting. This quintessential experience of the French “art de vivre” will be followed by a peek behind the scenes at the hotel led by the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Amaury Bouhours, a rising star of French cuisine. This memorable day will end in a suite with an unbeatable view of the Tuileries Garden!

Lifestyle Insider Your own Louis Vuitton Fragrance with a bespoke carrying trunk

An elegant carrying trunk personalized with the pattern of your choice, containing bottles of your custom fragrance. Crafted and painted by hand in the historic workshops in Asnières, your carrying trunk will reflect your personality and all the expertise and know-how of Louis Vuitton. It will hold a set of bottles of a fragrance designed for you by Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, Louis Vuitton Master Perfumer, over the course of a magical day in Grasse. You will discover the birthplace of perfumery as Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud invites you on a rare tour of his creative atelier at Les Fontaines Parfumées and explores your fancies to develop a bespoke fragrance.

Lifestyle Insider Discover the Secrets of Moet Hennessy

Treat yourself to an enchanted interlude in Champagne during which you will explore an exceptional heritage while tasting the most exclusive vintages from the Houses of Moët Hennessy. As loyal sponsor, Moët Hennessy accompanies the museum in its most prestigious events. Your stay begins in Reims with a descent into the Gallo-Roman chalk quarries where Ruinart bottles slumber. It continues on to the Krug family home for an immersive musical tasting followed by a lunch on a theme of Maison Veuve Clicquot vintages. The afternoon features a stroll through Reims Cathedral and concludes with a magical private dinner in this city where the French monarchs were crowned. The next day you’ll set out to discover the village of Hautvillers and its abbey where Dom Pierre Pérignon and Dom Thierry Ruinart were laid to rest. After tasting a few Dom Pérignon vintages at lunch, you’ll wander through the 28 km of the Maison Moët & Chandon cellars to conclude this extraordinary experience.

Lifestyle Insider Off White - by Virgil Abloh - A Unique Handbag

For this exceptional philanthropic sale, Virgil Abloh has created a unique handbag, bound to be a collector’s item, inspired by the Pyramid at the Musée du Louvre and the buyer will be invited to the next Off-White™️ fashion show in 2021.

Lifestyle Insider Parfums Christian Dior - Your Own Fragrance by Christian Dior inspired by your Favourite Work at the Louvre by Master Perfumer Francois Demachy

Do you have one especially beloved piece of art at the Musée du Louvre? François Demachy, Master Perfumer at Parfums Christian Dior, will translate it into an olfactory composition, resulting in an exclusive fragrance that is yours alone to wear. This experience will take you to the Château de la Colle Noire, a sublime estate overlooking the hills of Grasse that was Christian Dior’s getaway. Your journey of the senses will wrap up with a magnificent dinner for you and your guest amidst the remarkable flowers in the garden that lies at the heart of the Maison Dior’s Provençal estate. You will receive your one-of-a-kind fragrance at the end of this exceptional day.

Lifestyle Insider A Masterpiece on your Wrist by Vacheron Constantin

A unique Les Cabinotiers watch inspired by your favourite work of art among the paintings and sculptures in the Louvre collection. Stroll through the Louvre with an expert and, during this private tour, choose a work that is dear to you. The team of specialists at Vacheron Constantin will then translate the art into a miniature enamel or grisaille enamel, applying the artisanal techniques handed down from generation to generation. Your exchanges with the specialists will continue at the world’s oldest watchmaking house, where you will meet the master watchmakers and accomplished artisans in their design studio. This exceptional timepiece is customizable and can be engraved with the wording of your choice. It will be presented to you at the Louvre, alongside your favourite work of art.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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