01 June 2011

Musee d' Orsay

The Musee d'Orsay is in a prominent position, opposite the Louvre and on the banks of the Seine.
Built to coincide with the World Fair in 1900 it was originally a railway station called the Gare d' Orsay which serviced the south west network of France until 1939.  It was then only used for suburban rail traffic as the platforms were not long enough for the longer, more modern trains that appeared with the electrification of the rail system.
After 1939 it became a mail centre for the packages being sent to the prisoners-of-war and then was the venue for their welcome home after Liberation.
It was abandoned from 1973 when  President Giscard d'Estaing decided it should become a museum for 19th and 20th century art.
This exciting project was opened by the then President Francois Mitterand in 1986 and has proved to be an immensely popular museum ever since.

                                                     OOPS !!

After the Manet exhibition we enjoyed a tasty lunch in the museum's cafeteria - not a bad space really for what was a former railway station - makes the Dome in Napoleon Street look a bit average ?

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