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Street artist JR poses in front the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, Tuesday, May 24, 2016. For his latest bold project, street artist JR is creating an eye-tricking installation at the Louvre Museum that makes it seem as if the huge glass pyramid at the heart of the courtyard has disappeared. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Trompe l’œil.
ET VOILÀ

Artist JR took over the Louvre and made the pyramid disappear

By Annalisa Merelli

Invited to curate a series of events at the Louvre this weekend (link in French), French artist JR decided to leave his mark on the museum—or rather, use an eraser on it, by making the iconic glass pyramid outside the 13th and 16th centuries buildings seemingly disappear. Using his trademark technique of sticking large-size pictures to the outdoors of buildings, JR created a trompe l’œil, an optical illusion that appeared to turn the pyramid into a black-and-white filter for the buildings behind.

The installation, announced by a sign by the museum’s entrance, took two days to set up, and it’s part of JR’s international body of work Unframed, which uses archive images in public spaces as a means of storytelling. In 2014, the artist—who remains anonymous, not disclosing his name—installed early 20th-century pictures of immigrants on Ellis Island. In 2011, he pasted images of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, home to Amazonian rainforest, all over São Paulo to denounce deforestation.

AP Photo/Francois Mori
AP Photo/Francois Mori
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

To add magic, as the installation began, the band Arcade Fire performed an impromptu a cappella show in the Jardin des Tuileries, right by the museum:

The result is stunning, and while the program of events directed by JR was only for this weekend, the non-pyramid will be remain visible until June 27.

EPA/Jeremy Lempin
AP Photo/Francois Mori