Dan Brown! Dan Brown! Dan Brown! Everyone seemed to leap off their seats at once and rush to the side of the bus frantically waving their fingers. It could have been a brit-pop moment in the 60’s minus the clench fisted excitement combined with double stamping feet and screaming.
As soon as we had turned left from the rue Rivoli onto the place du Carrousel, passing through one of the many narrow archways that pierce the row of ornate buildings lining both sides of the street, we burst upon one of the most stupidly hideous ideas on the planet.
Square in the middle of one of the most moving courtyards in the world – the gateway to one of the most important institutions handed to us from the past; stood the Dan Brown structure everyone was screaming about.
If the greatest contribution our current world will ever make to cultural history is to trash the past and turn it into the backdrop to a third-rate american movie; thumbing our noses at history and impressing each other with the ability to shock, then this is it.
Humanity collects around the base of this cheap-ass glass pyramid like the crap around an overstuffed stadium trashcan. Sticky sweet in the sun, it could as easily be a lineup somewhere in the Mall of America. Right in the middle of a building that houses (albeit mostly stolen) a huge repository of the worlds greatest cultural and artistic achievements. The last, and possibly always was, greatest museum in the world.
A place where you can wander for days (and I mean days as in 9-hours-at-a-time kind of days) amongst statuary of ancient Sumaria, Mesopotamia and Babylon. More than 600,000 square feet of antiquities from the borders of Turkmenistan to the western shores of Europe. Much of it saved at the horrific price during two unbelievably destructive modern wars fought on French soil.
A place now commercialized and dedicated to the Mona Lisa, a massive gift shop, and of course Dan Brown.
…to be continued…