Christie's announces Bid for the Louvre: Exceptional charity auction

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Christie's announces Bid for the Louvre: Exceptional charity auction
Pierre Soulages, Peinture, 64.5 x 91 cm., 12 janvier 1962. © Christie’s images limited 2020.

PARIS.- The musée du Louvre and Christie's auction house, with the support of the Hôtel Drouot, join forces to organize Bid for the Louvre, an unprecedented online auction. Proceeds will be entirely devoted to projects in support of the musée du Louvre and the Studio, a new space dedicated to artistic and cultural education that will open in the fall of 2021. The catalogue of the sale will be available on both websites of Christie’s and Drouot. The auction will be held on Christie’s online platform from December 1 to 15, 2020.

For the first time, the musée du Louvre is auctioning 24 exceptional lots : once-in-a lifetime experiences at the heart of the Palais, bespoke services inspired by the Louvre, exclusive experiences created by some of the world’s leading luxury brands, and unique works of art kindly given by contemporary artists close to the museum, including Johan Creten, Candida Höfer, Eva Jospin, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Pierre Soulages and Xavier Veilhan. Some of the offered lots are quite unique and comprise world premieres such as the privilege of attending the annual examination of the Mona Lisa outside her display case, or the chance to walk through the rooftops of the Palais du Louvre in the company of the artist JR.

Virgil Abloh, multi-disciplinary creator, or Houses such as Cartier, Christian Dior Couture, Le Meurice, Le Ritz Paris, Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy, Parfums Christian Dior and Vacheron Constantin, are amongst the prestigious participants — all sharing a strong bond and special history with the Louvre, and heavily involved in the choice and design of the lots for this auction. Behind each work of art, each creation, each experience offered in this sale, there is the generosity of an artist, a partner company or a patron of the museum.

As the festive season approaches, this sale offers a unique opportunity to live, share, or gift exclusive and extraordinary experiences.

All proceeds from this sale will be used to finance projects which aim to ensure the doors of the Museum are accessible to all. This includes, the future Louvre Museum Studio, a new 1,150 m2 space dedicated to artistic and cultural education, set to open in the fall of 2021 and created to welcome families, students, vulnerable people and disabled people. The activities that will take place there will encourage those who sometimes feel excluded to experience the museum in a different way.

Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Musée du Louvre: "This period of pandemic, which is hitting the most vulnerable in society first, makes this project even more necessary. The art community and those luxury brands with close ties to the Louvre responded instantly to our call for help and I thank them very warmly. They know that educational projects are at the heart of the Louvre's work. That is why I wanted the proceeds from this major sale, organized with Christie's and Drouot, to be for them. Generosity will thus be put directly at the service of our community.”

Cécile Verdier, President Christie’s France: "Everyone has been able to understand the difficulties that the pandemic has created for cultural institutions, and the Louvre is no exception. It is our great honour to support our friends at the Museum through this initiative. For many of us, the Louvre is a fabulous showcase for great artistic emotions. Thanks to the funds raised by this sale, promoting the Louvre's activities for audiences unfamiliar with museums is all the more meaningful in these troubled times.”

Alexandre Giquello, President of Drouot Patrimoine : “Beyond the current health situation, which is quite incomparable, we can easily see how challenging it is for everyone to have access to culture. By supporting the "Bid for the Louvre" sale, we are delighted to participate in the democratization of our institutions and to support the Louvre's solidarity projects.”

List of artists who have generously donated a work to the Louvre:

JOHAN CRETEN: Glory - Napoli II, 2017-2018. This work was generously donated to the Louvre Museum by Johan Creten.

CANDIDA HÖFER: Musée du Louvre, Paris XXII, 2005. This work was generously donated to the Louvre Museum by Candida Höfer.

EVA JOSPIN: Forêt, 2020. This work was generously donated to the Musée du Louvre by Eva Jospin.

JEAN-MICHEL OTHONIEL: La Rose du Louvre, 2020. This work was generously donated to the Louvre Museum by Jean-Michel Othoniel.

PIERRE SOULAGES: Peinture, 64.5 x 91 cm., 12 janvier 1962. This work was generously donated to the Louvre by Pierre Soulages (ill. on the right).

XAVIER VEILHAN: Le mobile no.9, 2019. This work was generously donated to the Louvre by Xavier Veilhan.

List of the unique experiences offered by the Louvre museum:

JOCONDE MANIA: Accompanied by your guest and Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Musée du Louvre, you will attend the annual examination of the Mona Lisa outside her display case (ill. on the right).

MAGICAL NIGHT BY TORCH LIGHT: Experience an exceptional evening for you and your guests as you set off to discover the Louvre Museum by night (ill. below).

HIDDEN TREASURES OF THE DRAWING CABINET: Discover the jewels of the Louvre Museum's Drawing Room.

CONCERT OF KINGS: Former reception hall of the Kings of France, the Caryatids Hall will welcome you and your guests for a private concert especially given in your honor.

VISIT FOR TWO ON THE ARC OF THE CARROUSEL: Experience a romantic evening on the roof of the arch of the Carrousel, a striking testimony to the spirit of Napoleon's conquest.

WITH JR ON THE ROOFS OF THE LOUVRE: Follow artist JR on his adventure on the rooftops of the Louvre Museum.

DISCOVER THE LOUVRE WITH ITS PRESIDENT: Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Louvre Museum, heritage curator, and specialist in Greek statuary, will give you an extraordinary and completely new experience.

MARK THE HISTORY OF THE GARDEN OF THE TUILERIES: Associate your name or that of someone close to you with a newly planted tree and a restored bench in the Grande Allée des Tuileries and participate in the ambitious renovation project that will allow André Le Nôtre's garden to regain its former splendor.

THE THREE LOUVRES: PARIS, LENS, ABU DHABI: Imagine a journey through the Louvre universe in Paris, Lens and Abu Dhabi.

List of patrons and partners of the Louvre Museum who have generously offered an experience or a prize:

CARTIER AND LOUVRE: EMBLEMATIC JEWELS: A Panthère de Cartier bracelet will be given to its new owner during a private visit to the Palais du Louvre to view the crown jewels of France in the Apollo gallery. This exceptional piece will come with a journey into the craftsmanship of the Maison Cartier. You will tour the haute jewellery workshops located in the heart of Paris at an undisclosed location that is closed to the public with Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s Director of Image, Style and Heritage.

DIOR DREAMS: Christian Dior Couture offers you an exclusive experience consisting of a private visit to the Tuileries, focusing on Dior and the passion for this garden. This escape will be followed by an invitation within the heart of Dior Heritage to discover the secret archives of Monsieur Dior and his successors. During this journey, you will receive a trunk personalised with your initials, evoking the mansion at No. 30 Avenue Montaigne. In this stunning haven, you’ll discover a bespoke, handcrafted miniature dress in hand-pleated taupe silk gauze designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri for her Autumn-Winter haute couture 2020-2021 collection.

"THE ART DE VIVRE À LA FRANCAISE" FROM THE LOUVRE TO LE MEURICE: Embark on an private exploration of the Louvre’s collections and enjoy an intimate moment in the company of masterpieces with your very own art historian. In this same spirit of exclusivity, continue your evening at Le Meurice, the first Parisian Palace since 1835. Sit down to dinner at the Michelin two-star restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse followed by a peek behind the scenes at the hotel led by the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Amaury Bouhours, a rising star of French cuisine. This day will end in a suite with an unbeatable view of the Tuileries Garden!

CULINARY DELIGHTS FROM THE LOUVRE TO LE RITZ PARIS: Take a themed tour of the Louvre with a focus on table arts and love of food. This delectable experience will continue at École Ritz Escoffier with a private pastry-making lesson and an exclusive meeting with Chef François Perret, who was recognised as the Best Pastry Chef in the World in 2019. He will invite you into his laboratory, the starting point for pastry that bewitch even the most refined and demanding palates. Stay then in a superb suite at Le Ritz Paris.

A BESPOKE CARRYING CASE AND FRAGRANCE BY LOUIS VUITTON: An elegant carrying trunk personalised with the pattern of your choice, containing bottles of your custom fragrance. Crafted and painted by hand in the historic workshops in Asnières, your carrying trunk will reflect your personality and all the expertise and know-how of Louis Vuitton. It will hold a set of bottles of a fragrance designed for you by Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, Louis Vuitton Master Perfumer, over the course of a magical day in Grasse. You will discover the birthplace of perfumery as Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud invites you on a rare tour of his creative atelier at Les Fontaines Parfumées and explores your fancies to develop a bespoke fragrance.

THE SECRETS OF MOET HENNESSY: Treat yourself to an enchanted interlude in Champagne during which you will explore an exceptional heritage while tasting the most exclusive vintages from the Houses of Moët Hennessy.

OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH™️: For this exceptional philanthropic sale, Virgil Abloh has created a unique handbag inspired by the musée du Louvre and the buyer will be invited to the next Off-White™️ fashion show in 2021.

YOUR OWN LOUVRE FRAGRANCE BY DIOR: Do you have one especially beloved piece of art at the musée du Louvre? François Demachy, Master Perfumer at Parfums Christian Dior, will translate it into an olfactory composition, resulting in an exclusive fragrance that is yours alone to wear. This experience will take you to the Château de la Colle Noire, a sublime estate overlooking the hills of Grasse that was Christian Dior’s getaway. Your journey of the senses will wrap up with a magnificent dinner for you and your guest amidst the remarkable flowers in the garden that lies at the heart of the Maison Dior’s Provençal estate. You will receive your one-of-a-kind fragrance at the end of this exceptional day.

A MASTERPIECE ON YOUR WRIST BY VACHERON CONSTANTIN: A unique Les Cabinotiers watch inspired by your favourite work of art among the paintings and sculptures in the Louvre collection. Stroll through the Louvre with an expert and, during this private tour, choose a work that is dear to you. The team of specialists at Vacheron Constantin will then translate the art into a miniature enamel or grisaille enamel, applying the artisanal techniques handed down from generation to generation. Your exchanges with the specialists will continue at the world’s oldest watchmaking house, where you will meet the master watchmakers and accomplished artisans in their design studio. This exceptional timepiece is customizable and can be engraved with the wording of your choice. It will be presented to you at the Louvre, alongside your favourite work of art.

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