During my visit to France, I decided to take the time to visit one of the most famous and renowned museums in all of Europe, and, indeed, throughout the world. The Louvre is known and recognized the world over for its wide and ever-growing collection of artful masterpieces gathered from all over the world and throughout antiquity. Built originally as a palace and fortress in the city of Paris by Philip II during the late 15th-century, the Louvre now serves as a residence to 340,000 of the greatest paintings, sculptures, and art pieces of all time.
Standing outside of the Louvre is a glass pyramid. It is the first thing I saw as I was entering the museum. Upon entering the museum, atop the grand staircase stands a remarkable masterpiece of sculpture. It is Nike, the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is truly a splendid sight to welcome the countless visitors into the famous museum. I did happen to notice, however, that the Winged Victory has no head. Yes, Nike seems to have been amputated somewhere throughout the course of time. I couldn't help but to wonder just how much more beautiful Nike would be with her head still attached. Nonetheless, the statue is captivating all the same. It is no wonder why Nike is often referred to as "the pearl of the Louvre.".
After being welcomed into the museum by Nike, I noticed that she is not the only dismembered member of the Louvre. The Venus de Milo stands without her arms attached. Perhaps that's the reason that Venus de Milo has a bare chest: Without any arms or hands to cover her body, how is she to conceal herself from the gazing eyes of the museums countless voyeurs? Other magnificent sculptures worth mentioning are Diana the Huntress and Bernini's sculpture of The Sleeping Hermaphrodite. As for the latter, it is so interesting to see the spectators stare in amazement at the horizontal figure in the sculpture as they try to figure, Is it a man or a woman?.