Entry to the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month, and I landed in Paris on the first Sunday of June. Jet lag is a luxury that people who have time and money to spend in a foreign country can afford. I couldn’t.
Whatever debate may surround the aesthetics of the pyramid of the Louvre, within, you have everything to choose from. For a few seconds, we stood there, letting history and culture seep into our blood.
“So, where do you want to go?” My sister smiled at me.
“Not the Egyptian zone, that’s for sure.”
I could not decide, so we walked along, slowly getting the kind of head-rush that I have begun to associate with museums. As our heads filled to saturation-point, we began to wander a little aimlessly, continuing to look at things around us. We saw the crowd around the Mona Lisa.
“Do you want to go?” my sister asked, a little doubtfully.
I shook my head. “She looks exactly as she does in my history text-book from class five.”
My sister laughed; we moved on. The museum was to close soon. We were ready to leave too.
“Do you remember that painting we saw last time – The Coronation of Napoleon?” I asked.
“Yes! It was so beautiful, so detailed…”
Someone informed museum-lovers there that the Louvre was to close in twenty minutes.
“I want to see it again!” Suddenly, my brain was not saturated any longer.
We practically ran to an official. “Excuse me, could you guide us to-”
The official glanced back at the Mona Lisa doubtfully. It was still crowded and the museum was to close in fifteen minutes. He was too courteous to make a face, but I saw that expression in his eyes.
I smiled. “Could you tell us where we could find David’s The Coronation of Napoleon?”
The usher’s face visibly brightened.
My sister laughed.
“I thought you would want to see La Jaconde! Everybody does!” He was so happy that we wanted something else that he did not just show us the way to the painting we wanted to see. He accompanied us to the painting. He left us there to admire it and fall in love with it again.
After a while, he approached us again, smiling. “Are you content? The museum closes in five minutes …”