Muscles and masterpieces: Louvre offers Olympic sport sessions

The museum to offer visitors the chance to take part in dance, yoga and work-out sessions while gazing upon paintings and sculptures

By AFP

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A visitor takes a picture of the 'Discobolus' by Myron during the exhibition 'Olympism. A modern invention, an ancient heritage' at the Louvre Museum in Paris, on April 23, 2024.  — AFP
A visitor takes a picture of the "Discobolus" by Myron during the exhibition "Olympism. A modern invention, an ancient heritage" at the Louvre Museum in Paris, on April 23, 2024. — AFP

Published: Tue 23 Apr 2024, 9:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Apr 2024, 9:53 PM

The Louvre museum in Paris announced on Tuesday that it planned to organise yoga and sport sessions in its famed galleries as part of a city-wide cultural programme ahead of the Olympics.

The world's biggest museum is to offer visitors the chance to take part in dance, yoga and work-out sessions with instructors and coaches while gazing upon its world-renowned paintings and sculptures.


The announcement was one of several on Tuesday aimed at whipping up Olympic enthusiasm ahead of the start of the Games in Paris on July 26.

"The Louvre is physically in the centre of Paris. It will be physically at the centre of the Olympic Games," museum chief Laurence des Cars told reporters.


Details of the special sessions and the museum's new Olympics-themed exhibition are available on its website.

The opening ceremony is set to take place on the river Seine which runs past the Louvre. A temporary stadium to host the skateboarding and breakdancing is being built on the nearby Place de la Concorde. The Olympic flame is also set to burn in the neighbouring Tuileries gardens, a security source has told AFP.

Four other art destinations, including the Musee d'Orsay, the home of impressionist masterpieces, are also set to put on Olympic-related sports or cultural activities.

Also on Tuesday, the Paris city hall unveiled its plans for public sports facilities, concerts and open-air fan areas around the City of the Light for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

A total of 26 fanzones will be created around the capital, in addition to two special celebration areas in central and northeastern Paris where medal winners will be encouraged to greet the public.

"For the first time in the history of the Games, the host city is aiming to create a people's Games where Olympic enthusiasm can be shared at both the event sites but also outside of the stadiums, in the heart of the city, in each district," the mayor's office said in a press statement.

A new Olympic transport mobile phone application was also made available for the first time on Tuesday by the regional transport authority.

Visitors to Paris will be encouraged to use the "Transport public Paris 2024" app, which will guide them to Olympic destinations using real-time information on traffic and user numbers.

The developers said that suggested routes would not necessarily be "the shortest or the quickest" but would be the most suitable and ensure that travellers are divided among different transport options.

Overcrowding on the Paris underground train network is a particular concern ahead of the Games, while local politicians have urged Parisians to walk or use bikes.

The first Olympics in Paris in 100 years are set to take place from July 26-August 11 followed by the Paralympics from August 28-September 8.


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