Posted by: danielfee | January 5, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 01-05-2012

Musee d’Orsay – Paris, France
 

Musee d'Orsay

 

The Musee d’Orsay has a long history. It was initially the Palais d’Orsay, the home of the Conseil d’Etat. It was burned during the Paris Commune which was a short-lived government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18  to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place. The blackened ruins stood for 30 years. But just prior to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900, the government agreed to allow the Orleans Railway Company to construct a train station on the site. The station and hotel lobby was so luxurious that the painter Edouard Detaille prophetically called it a “Palace of Fine Arts”. Train stations around the world, including New York’s Grand Central Station and Washington DC’s Union station were patterned after it. It operated as a train station for 40 years but because the platforms were too short for the newer longer trains, the building was put to other uses. During World War II in became a mail center, then a holding center for returning prisoners of war, a film set for a Orson Well’s movie and a temporary auction house. The building was scheduled to be demolished for a new hotel development, but in 1977 it was classified as a historical monument and proposed to be a museum for 19th century art (from 1848 to 1915) filling the historical gap between other Paris museums. It opened on December 1, 1986 and became the new home for the Impressionist works.

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