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CULTURE | 15.06.2016

Movie Night: The Louvre Documentary “Francofonia”

How can you keep art treasures of immense value from falling into the wrong hands? Or more specifically: how do you protect the masterpieces of the Louvre, such as the “Mona Lisa”, against the Nazi occupiers? This is the challenge that Jacques Jaujard (then deputy head of the Louvre) and Count Francis Wolff-Metternich (Hitler’s appointed man for art “acquisition”) faced in Paris beginning in 1940, which would have great impact on our cultural history. Enemies turned courageous collaborators, who kept irreplaceable artworks from the greedy hands of looters.

But master director Alexander Sokurov does not only highlight this particular alliance in the rush for the senses that is “Francofonia”. His fantastic mix of re-enactments and wonderful shots of the Louvre explores the thesis, like several of his other films do, that museums are more than mere repositories of our past. For him, the Louvre, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg (cinematically captured in Sokurov’s work “Russian Ark”) and other legendary institutions are an essential part of a nation’s heart – and the DNA of our civilization.

One thing is certain: We have never seen the Louvre as it appears in “Francofonia” – a visual feast!

Read more about the film on the official website.