Wednesday, February 18, 2015


So you want to visit the Louvre but it is not physically possible because you are miles and miles away. You belong to the old school so you don't want to use the internet and just check the place instead. Fine. You can still live the experience of being at the Louvre without being there. Go for the old fashion way, and have it from someone who has been to the place, for events and things can be experienced through other people. That is what we call vicariously living someone else's experiences.

It was one fine evening when Xavier, my nephew, described his very recent travel to Paris, France. As he was giving a descriptive account of his visit, I was totally immersed in his stories that it was like actually being there, experiencing what he was feeling then.

Paris is a city of contrast. It is both the old and the new. The city has retained the quality of the old world, rich in its artistic heritage, while its people are ultra modern, fashionably dressed as they walk the streets of Paris. There are not many French nationals who speak English and so just like in the movie, "Lost in Translation", Xavier had to find ways of communicating with them, relying mostly on his mobile phone to translate English words to French and vice versa.

Xavier's visit to the Louvre Museum was one of the highlights of his trip. It is one of the world's largest museums and is a historic monument. It is a central landmark in Paris that showcases the different art works of the masters. He paid an entrance fee of about thirteen US dollars or six hundred Php.

In a nutshell, this is how Xavier sums up his total experience at the Louvre Museum:

"The art works at the Louvre isn't really my cup of tea, but visiting this museum is one of those things you've got to do while in Paris. The space is amazing with the size and scale of it all, impressive. There are just so many people that everything becomes pretty challenging that you just have to deal with it the best way possible so you can see the art works.

We made our way into the vast interior of the museum within an hour after it opened its doors to the public that day and still we were swallowed up by the great number of visitors. The famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci was strategically placed deep into the maze of corridors. By the time we reached this painting, the room was already thick with visitors.

In the next ten minutes, though, I was struck with a sad realization. I left the room, feeling that although Mona Lisa is the most visited piece of art at the Louvre, it is the least seen and felt. Clearly, no one was attempting to take in the piece with his eyes or his heart. The people only wanted to snap pictures or take videos of it. As if the pictures and videos were some sort of little trophies with everyone running about trying to collect as many of these as possible. The more they collected, the more of a winner they were. And it is sad because it prevented them from actually experiencing the moment and relating to this beautiful work of art."

Well Xavier, you are still one lucky guy not only for having seen the Mona Lisa smile but also for having a Mona Lisa smile.  ^-^

Adecsky Explorer about to interview Xavier Bernal

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Some of the works by the masters
Xavier shares his insight about his visit to Paris and the Louvre Museum
The Head of John the Baptist
The most sought after by viewers, "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo Da Vinci
"The Triumph of Neptune"

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